Years ago, we didn't know hundreds of names that were linked to steroids. We didn't know the amount of great players that would test positive. But we did know one thing.
We were supposed to hate Barry Bonds. Bud Selig lead one of the greatest witch-hunts for one player in the steroid era. Selig would've done anything to get Bonds out of the sport, preventing him from breaking Hank Aaron's home run record.
Bonds used steroids, and he lied about it. We all know that. Bonds was one of many players that paved the way to teach other players how to react to steroid use, up to and including Alex Rodriguez.
Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi admitted to it when asked, and the story just seemed to go away for them.
A-Rod knew the same thing could happen to him. He admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003, hoping that the story would go away. But anyone that thinks he stopped using steroids in 2003 is as naive as he wants you to think he was.
I'm not sure Giambi will ever make the hall of fame. Pettitte should, as well as A-Rod, whenever his career ends. Clemens should as well, being a dominant pitcher before he used it.
And so should Barry Bonds.
Barry was one of the best players to ever play the game, pre or post steroids. The hall of fame is not for the best people. It's for the best players. If it's for the best people, we should contract Ty Cobb among others from the hall right now.
The home-run record will always be disputed, as well is should be. Should we note on his plaque at the hall of fame that he is the career home run record leader? No. This is what we should put on his plaque.
.288 Batting Average
374 Home Runs
417 Stolen Bases
Member of 40/40 (40 home runs/40 stolen bases) club
7 Gold Gloves
3 National League Most Valuable Player Awards
Why should that be on his plaque? Those are his numbers and accomplishments up to the 1998 season, when he started taking steroids. Does anyone want to argue with those numbers?
I'm not going to argue with them. And i'm not going to argue about the fact that Barry Bonds was a jerk. But that isn't the qualification for being in the hall of fame or not.
Now, all of the old-time hall of famers will sit on their thrones talking about how anyone that disgraced the game that way will never be in the hall of fame. They'll tell you that the home run record doesn't matter because the natural, A-Rod, will break it one day all by himself.
But, does anyone really believe that none of these guys would've done steroids if given the chance? If you say no, you really only believe that because they couldn't take it if they wanted to and the sanctity of those players would be diminished.
People's hatred for Barry Bonds can be traced to three things:
1.) The media jamming it down you throat that he is this awful person.
2.) Major League Baseball doing their best (now futile efforts) of making you believe he was one of very few that did steroids, and the other few who did them were already caught.
Barry got the shaft when it came to steroids in baseball. When he said everyone else did it, everybody told him he was wrong, because baseball said it was only him. When he said Selig was trying to ban him from baseball to protect all other players on steroids, he was told he was the only one on them.
He did them and he lied, and he should be punished for that. But every time the government forces another big name out there for a positive steroid test, we all know that Barry Bonds' smile gets a little wider with each player.
And now the golden boy, A-Rod has been caught. A-Rod strategically admitted to what he wanted to admit to, which will help his chances of deservedly being in the hall of fame.
But we all need to get over the denials, and we even need to get over ourselves a little bit, and make sure Barry Bonds gets in the hall of fame.