…. As the story goes, Bonds had a pretty good year that year (1998) — fourth in SLG, fourth in OBP, third in OPS; top ten in runs, doubles, triples, homers, RBI; second in walks and fifth in SB; and a .308 batting average — but was overshadowed by the increasing home run totals of those allegedly using PEDs. So, Bonds figured, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
…. It’s a classic race to the bottom situation. The result we want is a drug-free game, at least in our public statements and such. However, we give awards and honors to the drug users, at the expense of the clean players. This incentivizes them to do things we don’t want them to do — namely, use PEDs. After all, the 70 home runs McGwire hit each count as much as the 37 Bonds hit.
So, Bonds joined the race — and won by a mile. He, not Sosa, has the 734+ career home runs — an NL record and second all-time. He, not McGwire, has the single-season homer record.
And, in winning, he is labeled Public Enemy #1. But is it fair? Should the brunt of our anger fall on Bonds, who while the victor in this race to the bottom, was a late-entry? Or should it fall on Canseco, McGwire, and Sosa — three players who were among the first out of the gate, but stumbled toward the finish line?
Interesting stuff for those of us who really, really care ;-D