This man, (whose nickname could actually be "Bail" at some point) is the epitome of every single thing that is so very wrong with Major League Baseball.
I grew up in the 1970's worshipping THE GAME. I grew up being in awe of Hank Aaron: mainly because even as a child I knew how hard it must have been for a black man, in Georgia of almost all places, to dare to approach (let alone eventually break) the most hallowed "white man's record" - this side of Wayne Gretzky, anyway. Hank Aaron was, and still is, class personified - the very antithesis of Barry Bonds. I solemnly swore two years ago, that unless Major League baseball did something about this man, denied him his moment in history, once the record fell I would quietly put all my Braves, Hank Aaron and baseball memoribilia away for good and never watch another baseball game in my life. Today is a sad day for me, when 756 does happen it will be even sadder, as it will be for all who cherish and worship the very integrity of this hallowed game.
Did Mr. Bonds "juice" himself? There seems little doubt - his bulkiness in recent years aside, his demeanor (never a strong Bonds suit anyway) of bizarre tirades and extreme selfishness smacks all-too-familiar with those other "chemically enhanced athletes" from the wrestling world. This alone, to me, is proof that Mr. Bonds got his edge over Hank Aaron at the tip of a needle. - and therefore taints this "accomplishment" too much in my purist eyes. THE GAME that was forever a joyous distraction itself for me in my youth has been equally tainted by baseball's inability to root out and eliminate this glaring issue: And now one of baseball's two most hallowed home run records is about to fall to a man who quite literally cheated his way to acquiring both (the single season record being, of course, the other). It overshadows Orel Hershisher's amazing consecutive scoreless innings streak. It overshadows Joe DiMaggio's consecutive hitting streak. It even over shadows Cal Ripken's immortal performance of consecutive games played. None of these records, true accomplishments, seem to matter anymore. The one we're going to remember was accomplished by a sour, selfish little man whom is as deserving of his "fairly earned record" as Rosie Ruiz was of "winning" the Boston Marathon in 1980.
Shame on you, Mr. Bonds. Shame on you, Mr. Selig, for letting this embarrasment go on for this long. And shame on you in general, Major League Baseball. You've always filled the sports pages with stories of current scandals (usually involving gambling) of men who cheated, trying to make an extra buck or name for themselves - but you've usually acted swiftly in suspending the offenders pending investigations. In the case of Barry Bonds, whose involvement in an enterprise in which men are now serving real jail time seems little in doubt, you chose to do nothing. And how can you expect the worshippers of the game ... to believe in you anymore? The enshrined ghosts of Cooperstown are angry this day , I suspect. The Black Sox, Pete Rose, Lyman Bostock, Donnie Moore aside, today is the saddest day in baseball history - because Major League Baseball had a chance to put an end to this travesty, and Major League Baseball didn't.
Thierry P. Nihill
Toronto, Ontario, Canada