Barry Bonds, part deux

Matthew Carroll's view

Despite what the misinformed title may have led you to believe, my column last week was not about Barry Bonds. It didn’t even say that Barry Bonds should be banned from the game. What it did say was that Major League Baseball needs to take some drastic measures to rid the game of the stigma associated with rampant steroid use. If that meant cleaning the house of all cheaters, then so be it. My intention was not to single out Bonds as the source of all that is wrong with baseball.

I would just like you to know that the party responsible for titling that column has been dealt with. By “dealt with” I mean that I informed them of my displeasure with their title choice and they stared at me blankly, mumbling that they held the title of editor, and not me.

I’d like to believe that I made my point, but the truth is I had to write, “I will not question Steve Schirra’s superiority” 500 times on a white board and fork out 30 bucks just to get my column in the paper. (I was informed that the money was to cover the cost of a white board, a pack of Expo dry-erase markers and a chicken sandwich from Sunset Strips.)

I went through all of that to bring you this: an actual column about Barry Bonds. Enjoy.

I would have to say that after watching Barry Bonds’ recent press conference I have even less respect for the guy. He was cocky, unrepentant and delusional about steroids and his involvement in the BALCO steroid debacle.

Bonds should have learned from Pete Rose that it is fruitless to deny something that everyone knows is true. Not only did he deny that there is even a widespread steroid problem in baseball, but he went so far as to say that he didn’t think steroids helped you hit a baseball. While the argument can be made that steroids have no effect on hand-eye coordination, there is no denying the fact that a guy that looks like Lou Ferrigno sans green paint is going to be able to hit the ball a lot farther than a guy that looks like Barry Bonds, circa 1989.

In the press conference, Bonds went on to blame the media for all of his woes, and — in his funniest moment — tore into Jose Canseco, saying, “For somebody who brags about what he did, I don’t see any of your records.” Personally the only image of Canseco I can recall is a baseball bouncing off his head and then into the stands for a home run. Apparently steroids don’t improve your fielding either.

In Bonds’ defense, steroids use is a tough problem to tackle. How do you determine what skills are or aren’t affected by steroids? Barry Bonds is a great all-around player, and the argument could be made that even without his power numbers he is a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame.

However, you could also make the argument that a cheater is a cheater. Whether you only cheat on one question or on all of the questions on a test is irrelevant. The point is you cheated. Either way, Major League Baseball has its work cut out for them.

Matthew Carroll is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].