Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bonds vs. Babe or Steroids vs. Beer

I am listening to The Dan Patrick Show and Keith Olbermann is on and they are talking about some critics, including Joe Morgan, who are claiming Babe Ruth was using an illegal substance during his career. His illegal substance? Beer. Prohibition my friends, prohibition. Keith made the argument that it wasn’t necessarily illegal to drink beer or liquor during prohibition, but you couldn’t manufacture or sell it. I won’t even make that argument.

I can understand a few guys wanting to play devils’ advocate, but this argument does not hold water. As far as I know, beer does not help enhance your athletic ability. How many beers do you have to drink to improve your hand eye coordination? I’m guessing none. Steroids helped Bonds pack on muscle to effectively “muscle” the ball out of the park. He also was able to recover quicker than the average ball player, which meant he was not as tired during a stretch of day games after night games. The usual fatigue and wearing down over the course of the season did not happen with Bonds. That is the most important thing about his “allegedly” using steroids. Not the strength to hit balls farther because he could still hit a ball 400 feet. He was able to hit more balls out because he was never tired.

I have linked a column by Joe Henderson of the Tampa Bay Tribune. In it he reverses the roles and has the Babe chasing Bonds and what the media these days would have done to the Babe as he got closer to Bonds’ record. It is an interesting read, and it may have in fact happened that way, but there is a difference between off the field activities that should hurt your ability to play baseball and activities that enhance your abilities.

This whole thing is really sad because, say what you will about Bonds’ attitude, he is the greatest player of my generation, steroids or no. He will be marked for life with a scarlet S. There will be no need to strike his records, there will be no need to put asterisks beside his numbers, because he will carry that scarlet S to his grave and beyond. He will always be remembered for being a disgrace and a cheater. As far as I am concerned, that is a fair and just punishment.


Ben said...

Actually, from his remarks to the press over the last couple years, I've forgotten entirely that he hits home runs every now and then.

I'll always remember him for what he is; the biggest asshole to ever play baseball. That's a pretty bold statement, if you think about some of the shit Ty Cobb did.

My word verification of the day? jricejr. This time, it isn't one word, but Jerry Rice, Jr. At least it is appropriate for this blog.

Piccu said...

Bonds is a bitter miserable man, but Ty Cobb killed a man. Bonds took steroids and is cheating us all as baseball fans but he never killed anyone.

Now that I think about it, it may not be as bad, but it is pretty close.

Cobb was also suspected of gambling on baseball and throwing games. He also climbed into the stands to beat an armless man half to death. I know I didn't need to throw all of that in; I'm actually a big fan of Ty Cobb.

Ty Cobb is the prime example for Pete Rose being allowed in the Hall of Fame. If Cobb can make it in after doing all that during his playing years, then Rose should be in because his transgressions took place after his playing years. Put Rose in and be sure to put a line on his plaque that says he was banned for life. Do not let him back in the game of baseball, but let him into the Hall.

I think the same thing about Bonds. He should get into the Hall but there should be a line on his plaque about steroids and the suspicion he was under. The same thing for McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro.