Barry Bonds Stands Alone

For me, watching 43 year old Barry Bonds majestically hit his 756th career home run 435 feet and break the most cherished record in sports last night was surreal. It made me remember what I love about sports and especially baseball. It made me forget all this other crap about steroids, HGH and other performance enhancing drugs. It made me feel like a kid again, in awe of the greatest baseball player most of us have ever seen. Watching Barry’s humanizing speech and special moments with his family, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron via his recorded message actually brought tears to my eyes.

It made me feel in awe like I did watching Kirk Gibson hit his game winning home run in game one of the 1988 World Series, while I was at the hospital after my sister had an asthma attack. It made me feel amazement like I did when Joe Carter hit his World Series winning home run in game six of the 1993 Series. It made me feel like I was lucky to see it as I did when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak in 1995 and it made me feel excited every night to watch him try to break the record just as I did in the great 1998 home run chase between the now mere side notes, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

I understand the negative situation surrounding Bonds and I also understand that he has been rude and unfriendly to the media and people think he’s a bad guy. However, I have spoken to several former players that know him and they say he is a good guy, he has just gotten a bad rap from the media. Imagine being hounded constantly by people you don’t even know asking you the most personal of questions day after day, most people would eventually get frustrated and fire back from time to time. I believe that the media is as much to blame as he is but unfortunately the media is a cover; there are no names because nobody cares about them. They write the stories about Bonds and others and the rest of the world reads these stories and form their opinion based on the words that someone they don’t even know writes. Obviously Bonds has been surly and rude at time but again, who can really blame him.

Personally, I don’t care if he is a bad guy or not, I really don’t. I feel priviledged to have watched him for all of these years, the same way it was to watch Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice and now Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. They are the greatest at what they do that we have ever seen.

It bothers me that there is a cloud over Bonds, but I can’t even deal with hearing about it constantly. The witchunt that has gone down over the past few years over Bonds is sickening. There is no evidence and last time I checked, this was America and we are innocent until proven guilty. Additionally, these drugs weren’t illegal when he supposedly took them; so even if he did take them-what can baseball do about it…NOTHING! So just leave it alone and let the fans make up their own minds.

The record will always be clouded by suspicion and the Commissioner and the media has done their part in downplaying this record but I won’t let that happen. To have accomplished this record is the greatest achievement in the history of sports. I am a fan and am capable of making my own decisions. I feel that the Commissioner acted like a child in this whole situation that he helped create and I detest him even more now than I did when he cancelled the 1994 World Series.

I hope that people realize how special what happened last night was and will be. People seem to think that it’s a foregone conclusion that Alex Rodriguez will eventually break Bonds’ record. He very well might, but remember that Ken Griffey, Jr. was on the same pace and hit major injuries year after year in his mid thirties. Arod still needs plenty of homers to break the record and if he does eventually do it, he will be deserving and I will cheer him (even though I don’t now even though he plays for my favorite team, the Yankees) and I guarantee you that Bonds will be there watching with dignity and class as his record goes down. It seems to me that Barry will have the last laugh on the Commissioner who will still be standing there with his hands in his pockets looking foolish for a long time.

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  1. ILuvBarry says

    Wow, thats well put and I am shocked to hear non Giants fans think that way. I love and respect Barry but I am a lifetime Giants fan…I love your site and thanks for that Bonds story

  2. I feel a little differently about the Bonds issue. I do agree that most people if they were surrounded by media all day would every once in a while fire back. And Im sure the media even egg Bonds on more just b/c he’s Bonds. However, the steroid issue is big and there is a lot of evidence that points to Bonds taking roids. He’s kinda like O.J. Everyone knows he’s guilty. In my opinion you could probably take 10% of Bonds home runs away b/c of his steroid use. That being said I believe Barry Bonds would have been a Hall of Famer and possibly would have broken the record without taking steroids. That what makes it sad.

  3. It’s difficult to say how many home runs would’ve been aided by drugs…how can you quantify that, you can’t. One reason the Mitchell Investigation is pointless is that, you can’t prove or disprove anything. You can’t say, 10% of his HRs were aided or that the record isn’t legitimate because there is no evidence and even if he is proven to have done roids, it wasn’t illegal and you can’t take away the record because you don’t know the timeline or when and/or how much or whatever he took. He was the best player before his alleged roid use and would’ve been a HOFer, you’re right but now he will live on as the most controversial player in baseball history–all good theatre needs a villain

  4. The man is 43 and hit that ball at least 435 feet last night–amazing stuff. I hope we bring him back next year bc otherwise there will be no reason to watch them.

  5. Selig is the worst COmmissioner in sports, everything he has done has been horrible and he always looks like such a moron while he is doing it, he is so awkward in general. Bonds should’ve told him to screw himself whn he called him last night!

  6. Baseball is such a pathetic hobby (Lee, I can’t bring myself to call it a sport). It’s obvious that most players are taking “performance enhancing drugs” so why can’t can’t the people of MLB admit it and confess they use the drugs to make the game slightly excit. Look at a true sport like soccer, real athletes who play an amazing sport which doesn’t need drugs to draw crowds. Sure they do drugs, but the drugs they do are off the field (like Maradona and his cocaine troubles)….

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