Con: Bonds is a zero, not a hero | NevadaAppeal.com
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Con: Bonds is a zero, not a hero

MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer

Barry, Barry, so contrary, what makes your muscles grow? For that matter, how did you manage as a player in his late 30s to make your skull larger and your feet grow from a size 111/2 to a size 13?

It’s a simple question, one that’s not too much to ask of the man who broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run mark of 755.

That Bonds is the new home-run king is indisputable, but how he got there is another story.

A plea of “I never knowingly took steroids or human growth hormones” fools about as many people as Donald Trump’s haircut.

And that people are talking about what Bonds put into his body as much or more as his monumental accomplishment of passing Hammerin’ Hank’s record shows there are at least a few souls left that believe that honesty and integrity are more important than some tainted achievement.

Since Bonds, the Player’s Union and Major League Baseball’s front office aren’t about to step forward and tell the full truth, let’s at least get it out in the open amongst ourselves.

In a society that loves its anti-heroes as much or more than its heroes – see Tony Soprano, Vito Corleone and Tony Montana for starters – Bonds breaking records on the Juice is something to be ashamed of about as much as breaking wind after a chili-eating contest.

The mindset is to do whatever it takes to win. By hook or by crook, results – not honor or integrity – are the only thing that matters.

Mealy-mouthed justifications and rationalizations – such as the argument posited by some that steroids weren’t illegal at the time, so no harm, no foul – make about as much sense as buying into the no-proof of guilt argument.

That a man’s shoe size increases by 11/2 inches is all the proof you need. And the fact that Bonds’ friend and trainer is doing prison time rather than talk. If there’s nothing to hide, why’s he in prison?

And if steroids weren’t illegal, then why the big cover-up? Why not come right out and tell the world, Hey, steroids aren’t illegal, so I’m having my doctor, my teammates, my friends and my wife poke me in the keister with enough ‘roids to give even my excrement muscles, because there’s nothing wrong with it.

Why? Because deep down inside everybody knows better. Some people, however, just have a little problem admitting they’re wrong.

Forget the new “get tough” policy of three strikes and you’re out. Make it one time and you’re out. That way, when we preach to our kids to follow their dreams and that honesty and integrity are virtues, it’s not a bunch of hypocrisy.

Having to inject yourself with a syringe full of drugs even once so you can play the game you enjoy is plain wrong.

What’s that? You don’t have children? All you care about is watching ESPN and seeing quasi-bodybuilders launching baseballs 500 feet into the stands?

If that’s how it is, then it’s time for a serious reality check. Playing baseball at any level is a privilege, not a right. And if you need to break the law to do it, then go back to school and learn how to do something else.

Somewhere along the line, Barry Bonds decided being great – being the best player in the game – wasn’t good enough.

He decided to be like Hulk Hogan and “say his prayers and take his vitamins.” He decided to make hitting 756 or more home runs more important than his integrity, honesty and his future health.

Barry Bonds is now the all-time record holder for hitting home runs. So what. He can’t even look people straight in the face and tell the truth about how he managed to increase his shoe size.

He may be a hero to some, but he’s a zero to anyone who’s not afraid to be honest.

Forget putting an asterisk next to Bonds’ record. Keep him out of the Hall of Fame and vote him into the Hall of Shame.