Cheating of various kinds has been going on in baseball since Day 1. There is no such thing as "pure" record. Should we throw out all the records before 1947 since the game wasn't integrated then and guys like Ruth and Gehrig did not play against black players? To me that is a bigger mark on the game than the use of steroids.
What about use of amphetimines? They are still used today when they shouldn't be, and they were VERY commonly used back in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s. What about the no-hitter that Doc Ellis threw while tripping on LSD back in the 1970s? Should we throw that out of the books too?
Gaylord Perry and several other Hall of Fame pitchers cheated by scuffing the ball. Should they be kicked out? You think Whitey Ford didn't cheat?
A highly-placed major league baseball source told me a few years ago that by his estimate well more than half of the players in baseball, including more than half the pitchers, used steroids sometime in the 1990s and early 2000s before the crackdown.
I don't understand why everyone picks on Bonds. Did he use stuff he should not have used? Probably. So did the pitchers he was hitting against. It probably made him stronger, yes, but it did not improve his strike zone judgment, or his hand-eye coordination, and those were the things that have made him such an exceptional hitter. And it helped the guys he was hitting against just as much as it helped him. And he was hitting in San Francisco...you think that the steroids helped him more than the park hurt him the last few years?
This is really ridiculous I think. If Bonds were more personable, this wouldn't be a controversy. The press has hated Barry Bonds way before the steroid thing, just like they hated Ted Williams. Because he doesn't put up with their crap.
Is Barry Bonds a jerk? Sure. So are a lot of other baseball players...including some people that the press worships because they feed them good soundbites and pal around with them, but who then turn around and are jerky to fans and others. I have seen more than one "beloved" baseball figure treat fans poorly when the press wasn't watching. . .and sometimes even when they were, not that it gets into the press.
Bonds has a chip on his shoulder. But I know of people in baseball who do much MUCH worse things than he does, and who get a free pass from the press. It's all a bunch of crap.
I don't think I would like Barry Bonds as a person. And I wish the whole steroid thing had never happened. But I also wish that ballplayers didn't use speed, or scuff the ball, or cheat in other ways. I wish the game had been integrated from the beginning.
But wishing does not make it so.
Barry Bonds is the best baseball player I have ever seen. He is basically Ted Williams with more speed and a better glove. If he's not the best player in history, he's the second or third best. The fact that he's not a nice person does not change that.