Hall Of The Damned - Barry Bonds

Hall Of The Damned - Barry Bonds
Bay Area Slugger

If there was a crypt for Hall of Fame rejects, there would be a mausoleum for those who should be in but can’t. Not because of poor arguments in comparison to others, but because of actions of infamous proportions. Actions that were deemed so foul and irreverent, that these players have been banned from the Hall of Fame.

The confusion lies in for how long? Indefinite? For life? What is the sentence for these players who made mistakes. Are we supposed to abandon all the moral fibers which have been engraved in our minds all through our lives? Everyone deserves a second chance. People make mistakes.

What mistakes are unforgivable? What mistakes can be forgiven? The line has been drawn so thin to where now it remains uncertain exactly what mistakes are worthy of exoneration?

These questions are what brings me to my argument. There is a short list of players who have contributed handily to the history of baseball. For better or for worse. These players deserve their day.

 

Barry Lamar Bonds

Hall of Fame worthy accolade: Baseball’s All-Time Home Run King (762)

Hall of Fame denial accusation: Using performance enhancing drugs.

Being an all-around jerk for most of his career

Barry Bonds is the most polarizing sports figure from a notoriety stand point since Pete Rose and one of baseball’s biggest names next to Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron. Unfortunately for Bonds, it couldn’t more for the wrong reasons.

Barry Bonds was one of baseball’s greatest sluggers in his 22 season with the San Francisco Giants he amassed a baseball career best 762 home runs, and seven NL MVP Awards.

Bond’s notable accolades consists of:

  • 14-time All-Star appearances
  • 7-time NL MVP
  • 3-time Major League Player of the Year
  • 8-time Gold Glove winner
  • 12-time Silver Slugger
  • 1st All-Time Home Runs (762)
  • 1st All-Time Base on Balls (2,558)
  • 3rd All-Time Runs Scored (2,227)
  • 4th All-Time Total Bases (5,976)
  • 4th All-Time Runs Batted In (1,996)
  • 6th All-Time career On Base Percentage (.444)
  • 6th All-Time Slugging Percentage (.607)

But much the same as Pete Rose, it’s not Bond’s performance or strength in numbers that is keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.

During the 2000-2001 season, Barry Bond’s burst back into the slugging scene chasing Roger Maris’ single season home run record of 61 home runs. But during that season, Bonds took a whirlwind of allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs while under the performance training of accused steroid peddler Victor Conte and the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) pharmaceutical corporation.

Bonds eventually surpassed Maris’ record of 61, amassing 73 home runs in a regular season.

In 2003, investigators searched the home of Bond’s trainer and long-time friend Greg Anderson. They seize information in documents that suggest Bond’s was knowingly taking substances that were banned from Major League Baseball.  In that same year Bond’s stated that he took something refered to as “the cream” and “the clear” and that they were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and rubbing balm for arthritis.

Practically the entire first decade of the 2000’s was dedicated to smearing what was the known by most currently as the steroid era. An era in which brought baseball back to the forefront with home run chases, old rivalry renewals and records being shattered at a moments notice. And much of that was maligned to one Barry Bonds.

Beyond the allegations, Bond’s brought more big time names to the forefront of the steroid era than that of any other athlete in professional baseball. Most notably Gary Sheffield, who ultimately admitted use of steroids but claimed that it was Bond’s that introduced him to the drug. Sheffield later severed ties with Bond’s and will now unfortunately live in baseball’s infamous asterisk era

ESPN reported on Nov. 25 2007

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicts Bonds on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. He is accused of lying when he said he didn’t knowingly take steroids given to him by Anderson. He’s also is accused of lying that Anderson never injected him with steroids. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Dec. 7. Anderson, who had been imprisoned for refusing to testify against Bonds, was ordered released.

Now it is 2011 and the trial for Barry Bonds perjury has just set to begin. You almost forget about all the accomplishments because of the fact that it could be questioned that it aided Bonds in reaching his goal of surpassing Hank Aaron (his longtime mentor) and cementing himself as baseball’s all-time great slugger.

Bond’s testimony is that he never knowingly used steroids or any Human Growth Hormone applications and that he only used what trainer Greg Anderson suggested. He said he never questioned it’s legal ramifications and was only concerned with the fact that it didn’t seem to be working.

 

Verdict

First and foremost, Barry Bonds was a jerk to his fans and the media, that ultimately has no bearing in “As I See It’s” verdict or judgment, although it may in the Veteran’s Committee judgment on Bonds.

Everything that is keeping Bonds out of the Hall is circled around the very thing that should get him in. Steroids. The very fact that the performance enhancing drug was used by and large to increase offensive production, little consider the fact that in the early stages of testing typically relief pitchers were picked the most out of random as they were found to use the supplements at a majority.

Barry Bonds is a peculiar case, although it can be contested that he never tested positive for steroids (even during the Mitchell era,) and the only proof of anything lies in the fact that he had a startling jump in production during the very season’s that are speculated when he started the use or PED’s (49HR’s – 2000, 73HR’s – 2001).

It is also to be considered however, that Bond’s All-Time walks record and On Base Percentage say that his eye was better than his bulk. His hand eye coordination cannot be negated with steroid allegations and his batting skill should remain heralded, much maligned to that of Pete Rose.

Bond’s ultimate verdict will lie in the hands of the Federal Court System and the powers that be.

If he is found guilty, he never gets in.

If he is found innocent than his chance’s are more slim than that of Pete Rose.

“As I See It” Barry’s best bet right not is to try to come out as clean as a whistle during these current court procedings, he gains nothing from blaming baseball. He needs baseball right now alot more than baseball needs him. He will more than likely half to earn his right the same as Mark McGwire is trying to, giving back to the youth of baseball by becoming a hitting coach or trainer (supervised, that is).

If Barry is acquitted, comes back to baseball in some capacity, then succeeds, he just may get a chance to let his fans and foes get a glimpse at a more humbled side of Barry Bonds. Although right now may be the most humble he will ever get.

 

 

Next up……. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson

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