MLB: Barry Bonds Charged with Obstruction, but Still Beats the Government

Harold FriendChief Writer IApril 17, 2011

Not proven guilty
Not proven guiltyJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Barry Bonds holds the following major league records:

* Home runs in a single season (73), 2001
* Home runs against different pitchers (449)
* Home runs since turning 40 years old (74)

* Home runs in the year he turned 43 years old (28)
* Consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs (13), 1992-2004
* Slugging percentage in a single season (.863), 2001

* Slugging percentage in a World Series (1.294), 2002
* Consecutive seasons with .600 slugging percentage or higher (8), 1998-2005
* On-base percentage in a single season (.609), 2004

* Walks in a single season (232), 2004
* Career Walks 2,558
* Intentional walks in a single season (120), 2004

* Consecutive games with a walk (18)
* MVP awards (7—closest competitors trail with 3), 1990, 1992-93, 2001-04
* Consecutive MVP awards (4), 2001-04
* National League Player of the Month selections (13—second place in MLB is Frank Thomas with 8; second place in NL is George Foster, Pete Rose and Dale Murphy)

* Only player to have at least 500 career home runs and at least 500 career stolen bases
* Oldest player (age 38) to win the National League batting title (.370) for the first time, 2002

Barry Bonds shares the following major league records:

* Consecutive plate appearances with a walk (7)
* Consecutive plate appearances reaching base (15)

* Tied with his father, Bobby, for most seasons with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases (5) and are the only father-son members of the 30-30 club
* Home runs in a single postseason (8), 2002

Barry Bonds was the greatest player of all time. It hurts to say, but he was a greater slugger than even Babe Ruth:

Career home runs: Ruth 714, Bonds 762
Season home runs: Ruth 60, Bonds 73

Career slugging: Ruth .690, Bonds .607
Single season slugging: Ruth .847, Bonds .863

Career on base percentage: Ruth .474, Bonds .444
Single season on base percentage: Ruth .545, Bonds .609

Career walks: Ruth 2,062, Bonds 2,558
Single season walks: Ruth 170, Bonds 232

Even those who rank Ruth ahead of Bonds admit it is a close call. Bonds stole more bases, was a great defensive player until later in his career and was such a feared hitter than he once had at least one walk in 18 consecutive games.

Bonds received an unbelievable 120 intentional walks in 2004, a mark that is only 50 fewer than the most walks Ruth ever received in a season.

Many smugly claim they "know" Bonds took steroids, comparing the young Bonds to the one who became the greatest slugger of all time after the age of 35.

Those who denigrate Bonds don't accept the fact that the government has never proven its allegation that he used steroids.

In the America that used to exist, an individual was innocent until proven guilty. Try telling that to the TSA or the friendly policemen at a traffic checkpoint.

Barry Bonds was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice, which is "an attempt to interfere" with the judicial process. A jury decided he didn't grovel enough before a grand jury, nor did he confess to any of the many accusations brought by government prosecutors.

He remains innocent though of using any performance-enhancing substances.

It is estimated that the government spent close to $100 million in its persecution of Barry Bonds. Do you want to guess how much the commission investigating the bombing of the World Trade Center spent? Try $14 million.

In most cases, government prosecutors have evidence to support their accusations before they initiate a prosecution. The opposite occurred with Bonds. Federal prosecutors indicted first, then continued their investigation, which turned out to be an exercise in futility.

Bonds' courageous trainer, Greg Anderson, stood up to the federal government by refusing to testify. He has been jailed a number of times. Without his testimony, the government could not prove Bonds used steroids.

Barry Bonds has been "convicted" of steroid use only in the court of public opinion.

Go to web sites such as Baseball Reference. All of Bonds' records listed above are in tact. Why hasn't MLB done something to change the ruling of the court of public opinion?

It has never been shown Bonds used performance-enhancing substances on his way to becoming the greatest slugger and player of all time.