My silence is deafening, huh? Sweet.
Sorry for the lack of posts, my computer’s hard drive was corrupted, resulting in me not having computer access for most of the last two months. I’m back, but I haven’t read the Bonds book yet, so my comments will be reduced to the following:
The story is an old one, and it hardly constitutes the earth-shaking scandal SI wants us to believe that it represents.
Selig would be way out of line if he decided to punish Bonds, since he never did anything that violated baseball’s rules, (unless you want to make the absurd argument that pushing himself to the limits of his strength and enurance is a punishable offense). In today’s NY Daily News, ex-commissioner Bowie Kuhn laughingly suggests that Selig could even go as far as to invalidate all of Bonds accomplishments: “I certainly believe the commissioner has the power to invalidate records. In my view, it’s inherent in the ‘best interests of the game’ clause. I think if a player was found to have cheated his way to a record, that record could be and probably should be invalidated.”
He fails to explain how he would deal with all of the complications such a move would entail, not the least of which would be, why only Bonds?
If “everyone” was doing it, as so many sportswriters today want us to believe (Tom Verducci, in particular), then a John Dowd-led investigation of Bonds in particular would be shameful. What’s left? An investigation of all of the players in the league for a five year period of time? Is that really neccessary?
As for the book’s main premise, which seems to be based on the old, “a 30-something athlete can’t improve his performance and his strength and all that without cheating”, read Pinto. David has often wondered just how much help steroids really can offer.
Here’s what I’m wondering:
If Bonds was working out 12 hours a day, does it really mean that he was cheating because he was using steroids? What about the 12 hours a day he was putting in while other players were playing golf or fishing? Doesn’t that count for something? You con’t just take steroids and watch TV, you know. You gotta do the work. Long, hard, tedious, painful work. All to be better, to be the best.
Again, if Bonds was using steroids to improve his performance, and there was no rule in baseball that outlined how he wasn’t supposed to, how is that cheating? I get the impression that writers like Verducci and Lupica feel that it was extra bad because Bonds was doing it out of jealousy and arrogance, as if that mattered. What matters is that Bonds got the absolute most out of his body as he possibly could, pushed his performance to historic levels, all the while behaving like the biggest asshole in the history of sports.
John Thorn offers us perhaps the first reasoned response to the Bonds story in this NY Times Op-Ed piece:
…. Yet the Hall (of Fame) operates, like Augusta National, as a private club. Within the confines of civil law, it may admit or bar whom it pleases by whatever electoral mechanism. It may include questionable choices like Rick Ferrell, George Kelly and Warren Giles; it may exclude the arguably more deserving Ron Santo, Dick Allen and Bert Blyleven. It may create rules by which Joe Jackson is banned for life and unforgiven thereafter. It may dismiss the hobgoblin of consistency by inducting Alex Pompez, a numbers kingpin and mobster, while holding Pete Rose at arm’s length.