Here’s to Barroid – not |

Here’s to Barroid – not

Joe Ellison
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist

The season had the potential to be the most celebrated in Major League Baseball history. Principally important, Barry Bonds was destined to break Hank Aaron’s hallowed record of 755 career home runs. But instead of honoring this greatest of all baseball achievements, MLB and its fans were left ripped off, realizing that Bonds needed steroids to attain it.

Each year we learn more and more about substances such as “the cream” and “the clear” that make athletes stronger and give them the ability to recuperate quicker from injuries and workouts. Dispelling a myth, according to their inventor in an HBO television interview, they can even improve one’s eyesight. “Clearly” they provide an unfair competitive advantage.

Thank God that a majority of the American public has figured things out though, because otherwise Barroid would be receiving a ton of undue praise. The day after Bonds surpassed Aaron’s mark, an ESPN poll found that 53 percent of respondents still thought of Hammerin’ Hank as the true record holder. All 50 states and 65 percent of those people voted that the record was at least tainted.

This week the owner of home run ball 756 left it up to us to decide what to do with it. Would we give it to the Hall of Fame as is? Would we brand it with an asterisk first? Or would we blast it off into outer space? After over 10 million votes, it was determined that the ball will sit in the Hall of Fame with an asterisk on it.

Of course Bonds hated the idea of leaving this up to the public, calling the ball’s owner an “idiot” and a “moron.” But any idea that Bonds thinks of as being bad must be an excellent one, because he can never again be trusted. We idiots and morons want the men, women and children who visit Cooperstown to forever remember and ask about the steroid era, and one asterisk will speak volumes.

Bonds and other dirty players should just feel fortunate that they play baseball, and don’t participate in an event such as the Tour de France. Besides being much more painful and grueling, the Tour has taken on a proactive approach to cheating. Race leader Michael Rasmussen passed 17 blood tests in less than two weeks, yet was removed from the Tour just on suspicions of doping. Although Bonds has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, overwhelming evidence exists, and it’s enough to erase most of his numbers and accomplishments.

Playoffs – By this time next week the playoffs will have begun, but as things stood Wednesday evening, none of the match-ups were set. In fact, no National League team had even clinched a berth. All four American League squads have been determined, but who gets home-field advantage has not. This is a dream ending for MLB fans.

Predictions – If there is one thing I learned during last year’s postseason, it’s that a team’s regular season finish means nothing once the playoffs begin. St. Louis struggled to win their division because of a 3-9 finish and San Diego won theirs going 8-2, yet the Cardinals handled the Padres easily on the way to a championship. Detroit ended with five straight home losses, including three to last place Kansas City, yet went all the way to the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers came in as the hottest team of all winning seven straight, but failed to capture even a single game. Momentum coming in was a non-factor.

World Series – Things have been unpredictable lately, with seven different champions in the last seven years. A wild card team has reached the World Series in six out of those seven seasons, winning three titles. The last time the team with the best record won the championship was 1998.

My pick back in April was for the New York Mets to defeat Boston in a repeat of the 1986 World Series. Since both teams have been struggling as of late, they seem like perfect choices, assuming the Mets get in.