Major League player Barry Bonds is within a swing or two of passing Babe Ruth as the number two all-time home run slugger in baseball history. There is, however, a taint that stinks up Bonds and his run at Hank Aaron’s number one record and last week in Philadelphia, the fans told him, and the world, they know what he did to be able to challenge Ruth’s record and they refused to play along and shut up about his leading role in the Steroids Era of baseball.
There appears to be little doubt Barry Bonds and other baseball players used steroids to enhance their on-field performance. The difference between Bonds and the others is Bonds’ adamant, continued, denial he ever “consciously” took steroids to enhance his performance. In the face of overwhelming evidence against those denials Bonds claims he may have had steroids put into his body but he didn’t know at the time they were steroids. You can see wild changes in Bonds’ body over the years in the image below: On the left he’s playing in 1993; in the center he’s on his way to testify in front of grand jury concerning steroids in baseball in 2004; and on the right you can see him playing in 2006.
That sort of incredible increase in size and ferocity is not a natural process. One does not get stronger and more muscled as one ages. That is physiologically impossible unless one has some kind of help to betray the natural progression of one’s body chemistry. There has not yet been any legal action taken against Bonds — and there may never be — but there has already been a tremendous groundswell of protest in the mainstream of ordinary baseball fans against what they perceive as Bonds’ dishonoring the game to cheat history.
Fans have found Bonds morally culpable for his outrageous denials of the reason behind his superhuman feats and that allows many to find him guilty with a moral certainty. Because of Bonds’ unwillingness to face the truth of his life some believe he will be remembered more in the company of O. J. Simpson — another sports superstar who tainted his natural greatness with incomprehensible moral corruption and unfathomable denials — instead of Hank Aaron, the greatest home run hitter in history. It is Bonds’ choice how he is remembered.
Will he do the right thing and confess and seek forgiveness or will he continue to deny and retire to the rumors in shame?