Despite steroid allegations, (which is what they are -- allegations), problems with the media, and any other reason you have to dislike Barry Bonds, he is without a doubt a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Before you come back with calling him a cheater, a disgrace to the game, or whatever wisecrack about steroids, just save the dogging and hear me out.
At the time of Bonds supposed steroid use, steroids were not illegal. After the banning of performance enhancing drugs from the game of baseball, Bonds has complied with every drug test ever rendered to him and has passed with flying colors.
In this regard Bonds is unlike fellow should-be-Hall-of-Fame-member Rafael Palmeiro, who tested positive for the use of Winstrol. Palmeiro can be remembered with his finger pointing to the judge stating "I have never used performance enhancing drugs."
Regardless, Bonds has been subject to the worst media discrimination for supposed things he has done. I am not saying Bonds has, or has not ever, done performance enhancing drugs.
My personal opinion would be that he has; just look at before and after photos. That seems to be enough evidence for all of us to incriminate him as a "cheater", but my point is "innocent until proven guilty" is still the law of the land. So why not give him the benefit of the doubt?
Writers love to leak information saying that notes on the BALCO calender has BB (which must stand for Barry Bonds), whereas a player such as Roger Clemens has people willing to stand up and say "I have personally sold and injected Roger with performance enhancing drugs."
But Bonds still gets the brunt of criticism.
The fact of the matter (and once again this is my personal opinion as a fan) is that Bonds is without a doubt one of the top 10 players of all time. And that is probably cutting him short.
He has provided so many memories, shattered unbreakable records and recreated all imaginations of our old heroes. If any writer that has a vote for the Hall of Fame holds back from putting a check in the ballot box on Barry Bonds, he should be revoked of his vote.
There is no way that a player the caliber of Bonds should ever be even questioned about being put in the Hall of Fame or not. This is not Pete Rose we are dealing with; this is Babe Ruth of the 21st century: The current face of the two most astounding records in the history of baseball and a living legend only a half year away from being in the game.
He is a no-brainer, just like Ted Williams or Joe Dimaggio.
My biggest fear is that some writer, who has never played Major League Baseball, is going to try and be a hero of his own sense and snubb Bonds. Probably more than one writer will do it too.
It has already happened to Mark Mcgwire; I just hope that people can look past the whole steroid issue and realize just how lucky they are for getting to see a player the caliber of Barry Bonds.
Here are a few records that I believe we will never see again:
- 73 Home Run Season (Bonds 2001)
- On Base Percentage of .609 for a season (Bonds 2004)
Imagine being on base 6 out of 10 times. Unbelievable.
- .863 Slugging Percentage for a season (Bonds 2001)
- 5.66 Strikeout to Walk ratio (Bonds 2004)
- 7 MVP's
- A 7 time MVP (it needed repeating)
- not to mention 762 lifetime Home Runs (which may not stand forever)
There is no way, steroids or no steroids, that a person could not appreciate what Barry Bonds has accomplished in the game of baseball.
I just hope writers feel the same way when it becomes Bonds time to join his Godfather, and former Giant great, Willie Mays in the Hall of Fame.
Please don't put the cape on when it comes to voting for Bonds; I can't imagine the ESPN reruns of some hero sports writer who feels that Bonds should not be in the hall of fame.
Save it and use your "I am not voting for him cause he did steroids" on Palmeiro. At least he has gotten caught.
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