Bonds allegedly started taking steroids in 1998, during the Mark McGuire Sammy Sosa home run chase, out of jealousy of the players. At age 35, he knew that he was in the final stages of his career, as his father had to retire from the league at the exact same age. He ‘allegedly’ took numerous steroids including Human Growth Hormone, Insulin, and Windsol. Stupidly, he had his weight trainer, a notable steroid dealer; chronicle all the steroid use, ‘allegedly’. (I repeatedly must say allegedly because nothing has been proven, yet, and if all the evidence I have seen in the book Game of Shadows is false, that makes it overly detailed and hard to make up fiction. But I digress.) Of course what happened next is history; Bonds puts up the five greatest seasons anyone besides Babe Ruth hasn’t even gotten close to touching, sets the single season home run record, and inches ever closer to Henry Aaron’s record, the most illustrious record in all of sport, the career home run record. Mind you, Bonds did all of this from the age of 38 on, a time that players are dragging out their careers ungraciously, not putting together an unparalleled streak of seasons and calling it a ‘late prime.’
Of course Bonds has been ousted, but the process of outcry has been slow to spread, and very little progress has been made. The die-hard baseball fans, like myself, feel as if not only Bonds, but also anyone who has tarnished the history of baseball by juicing have scammed them. But Bonds strikes harder. Not only is he a genuinely mean and classless man, he is a fraud who is nearing ever closer to a record he does not deserve, held by seemingly the exact opposite of him, the classy Henry Aaron. Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa are dead to us, whisked away into a dark land of animosity, émigrés shunned by Baseball, unwanted by teams and despised by fans. None of us would have a problem with Barry Bonds getting the same fate, sooner, rather than when it is too late. I am a key member of the school of thought regarding Bonds, and any other player with substantial evidence against them should face the same fate as Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose, banishment from baseball. In contemplation, I don’t think that Shoeless Joe, illiterate, or Pete Rose, never gambled while a player, deserve an equal fate as these cheats.
Corked bats, spitballs, sandpaper, that is all part of the game, finding advantages to help your team win. Steroids are not. And while all are technically cheating, Steroids are not in the best interests of anyone except the user. They are all selfish players who shouldn’t have their names in the same sentence with baseball. I said before that these guys were worse cheats than Jackson and Rose, both banned from the game they loved, it is my opinion that the frauds should be subjected to the harshest punishment deemed appropriate and constitutional.
The stanza of To an Athlete Dying Young is in regards a man who used to be decorated and now has sunk below the level of a girl. The book claims that Bonds took a pill for women to cover up his steroid use, making the body’s testosterone amount reach its normal level so that he could pass his drug tests. I won’t go as far as to say Bonds wanted to be a girl, but he has certainly was on the right regimen, and has sunk in the public eye to be far below any of us could have imagined.