When people hear the name Barry Bonds, there are a few words that immediately flash through their minds. STEROIDS, CHEAT, PERJURY. Well why shouldn't they? Bonds is credited with taking the most hallowed record in sports history and completely obliterating the image it creates. I mean, why would you want to root for the guy that makes most sports fan's shudder at the sheer thought of 756*.
I'm not gonna try and tell anyone that Bonds did or didnt use steroids, thats not my place. For that matter, it's no ones place but his, because he is the only person who has had to face the constant scrutiny of the media, fans, and even people who dont give two farts about sports in general.
What i will attempt to do is convince you that despite whatever advantages Bonds was or wasnt given through artificial substances, he is still one of the greatest players of all time, and without a doubt the greatest of his time.
People think Bonds didnt become a slugger until 2001, the year he broke Mcgwire's single season home run record. They argue that he completely blossomed into a hulkian type figure overnight. Do you forget that there was 15 years inbetween his rookie season and that historic season of 01? He had long before established himself as without a doubt one of the greatest sluggers of the 90's. In the 8 year stretch from 92-98, Bonds lowest Slugging pct. was .577 in 1995. The rest of those years, in order, he posted slg pct's of .624, .677, .646, .615, .585, .609, and .617. Thats 6 years out of 8 that he slugged over .600. And a .677 slg pct. in 1993?! Thats a herculean number if i do say so myself. Wanna know what A-rod's highest career slg. pct has been to date. .631. Yep, thats right. That would be 46 points lower then Bonds slugged in 1993. He didnt really look like he was juicing back then, did he?
And then you could get into the time where people say it is completely obvious that he was using some illegal substance. But wait, steroids weren't even banned from the game. So even if he did he wasnt doing anything that wasnt allowed.
From 2000 until 2004, his slg. pcts were .688, .863, .799, .749, and .812. Wow, you could argue that those numbers are completely fueled by "juice". But then may i ask, how come everyone that was using steroids wasnt putting up numbers so freakishly freaky?It couldnt have anything to do with Barry being one of the greatest hitters we've ever been given the privilege of watching, could it? He was hitting over 45 bombs a year when pitchers were too scared to give him over 400 at bats a year.
Which brings me to another thing. What about his ability to take walks, doesnt that make you a good hitter. Bonds has 14 season of 100 walks or more. You could say 15 because one season, he walked 232 times. Where are the other hitters walking on average well over 150 walks for 4 straight years? There arent any, not in this era anyway. Babe Ruth had one year where he came close to Bonds, when he walked 170 times. Do you know what that means? Not even Babe Ruth was as feared by the pitchers of his time as Barry Bonds is by his coworkers. Four straight years where your lowest obp was .515? Sounds to me like one of the all time best. You could say those numbers are steroid backed too, but what about that 1992-1998 stretch where he averaged an obp over .440, and topped .450 three times?
Bonds may or may not have taken steroids. Thats up for you to think long and hard about. But i dont have to because the only thing i know for sure is that Bonds is one of the greatest baseball players of all time, roids or no roids.