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Why Do We Really Hate Barry Bonds?

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Why Do We Really Hate Barry Bonds?
IconBonds is booed incessantly wherever he goes. The only place he's spared is his home park in San Francisco—and maybe fans around the league should take a clue from the Giants faithful.
 
Barry Bonds is a great baseball player. Period. He was a great player as a skinny kid in Pittsburgh, and was a great player in San Francisco long before he was ever accused of taking steroids.
 
And as far as steroids: we've got to consider Bonds' case in context. No, steroids aren't allowed in baseball...but don't forget that cheating has been rampant in the big leagues for as long as the game has been played.
 
To quote the great Buck O'Neil: "As long as baseball is around, guys will be looking to get ahead."
 
Babe Ruth used to drink before games to get an extra edge. The 1951 New York Giants admitted they had a sign-stealing system in place at the Polo Grounds. Gaylord Perry loaded the ball with Vaseline. Albert Belle and Sammy Sosa used corked bats. And the list goes on.
 
In baseball terms, then, Barry Bonds' alleged steroid use doesn't make him exceptional. He did what he did to get an advantage—just like his peers throughout history.
 
And to quote Buck O' Neil once again: "The only reason we didn't use steroids is that we didn't have it."
 
More to the point, performance-enhancing drugs don't guarantee success. Steroids may make you stronger, but they don't improve your hand-eye coordination. Bonds has always had the gift of hand-eye coordination; steroids didn't assist him there.

Remember too that Bonds plays in a park that's hardly friendly to left-handed hitters. During the All-Star Home Run Derby in San Francisco, nobody hit a ball into McCovey Cove, a feat Bonds has accomplished many times. 
 
Steroids, obviously, have been widely used in baseball. Just because Bonds is the best doesn't necessarily mean he used more than anyone else, or had the most potent stuff.
 
Maybe it's time to stop booing, start cheering, and celebrate Bonds' greatness for what it really is.
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