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 Post subject: Bonds book
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:54 pm 
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Dare I hope that this will drive Barry Bonds into retirement before Opening Day and keep the home run crown in the hands of the man who earned it?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:26 pm 
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Dare I hope that the moderator of this forum will stop Barry Bonds talk before it gets far?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:00 am 
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Well, it's one of the two or three biggest stories in baseball, and this is one of the two or three biggest moments in the development of that story. Far from there being too much Bonds talk, there isn't enough. We've all been culpable in letting him get this far by acting like his side of the story can be taken seriously. It can't. Journalistic objectivity carried to absurdity is a substantial cause of the current mess.

I'm not some rabid player hater for bringing this up. It's a mainstream position. I think it's even a majority position at this point. There are few things more important in baseball than rejecting Barry Bonds and everything he stands for.

Gene Wojciechowski wrote:
Bonds is finished. He might play again, but there is only a chalk outline left around his integrity and home run totals. And the only way he gets into Cooperstown is if he spends the $14.50 for a Hall of Fame admission ticket.


I agree.

And as Wojciechowski also points out, the saddest part is that Bonds would easily have been a Hall of Famer without illegal substances. No, he wouldn't have hit 73 home runs in a season, and probably would not have challenged Hank Aaron's record, but he still had a legitimate shot at being considered one of the dozen or so best players ever to play the game. That wasn't sufficient for him, and for cheating he should forfeit even that to which he would otherwise have been entitled.

But I say all of that only by way of defending the proposition that discussing Bonds is important. I posed a bona fide question to start this thread, and it's still on the table: Do people think Barry Bonds will play in a Major League Baseball game this season, now that this book has been released? If so, do you think he'll play the whole season?

My money is on him retiring by the All-Star Break at the latest.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:32 am 
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I know JJ is going to lock this thread soon, and I'm tired of the Bonds subject myself. (For the record, I think he's a disgrace.) But here are some general thoughts on what will happen this summer:

1) Bonds will skate prosecution by the feds and baseball, because that is what happens almost without exception with celebrities in this culture, and especially with celebrities in California (see Simpson, Orenthal James, and Blake, Robert). If those two can get away with allegedly murdering their spouses, Bonds can certainly get away with ingesting a drugstore.

2) Bonds will play this summer until he breaks his leg, ruptures his knee cartilage or breaks his ankle. Only severe physical impairment will keep him off the field in pursuit of Ruth's and Aaron's records. The man truly doesn't care what anyone thinks. Never has. Never will.

3) Bonds will break Ruth's and Aaron's records at home, and the Giants fans will jump up and down in ecstasy. Bud Selig will go through the motions of presenting Bonds with some kind of tangible trophy or certificate in each case, even though Selig's heart won't be in it.

4) Giants fans won't care what any book says. Jason "the Giambalco" Giambi reportedly ingested many of the same steroids Bonds is said to have, and look at how many silly fools cheered him last summer in the Bronx. Too many fans just don't give a fig.

5) As much as I hate to admit it, Bonds was Hall-worthy even before 1998, as a three-time MVP (1990, 1992, 1993). He will get in, maybe not on the first ballot, but he will get in.

Locksmith?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:05 am 
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Matthew Grieco wrote:
We've all been culpable in letting him get this far by acting like his side of the story can be taken seriously.

Not quite all of us.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:40 am 
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Mike Greenberg on ESPN Radio this morning was being more than just a Devil's Advocate when he suggested that, even if the stories are true, Bonds did nothing illegal, and Greenberg provocatively compared his drug use to the enhancements used by Kirk Gibson and Brett Favre to come back from injuries.

We can discuss this a bit, but let's keep our roid rages in check, please.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:57 am 
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To clarify: I'm not sure whether he was talking about whether Bonds' actions were illegal or in violation of baseball's rules.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:38 am 
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We should certainly afford Bonds the presumption of innocence when it comes to criminal liability. As Americans, we should assume he broke no criminal law unless it's proven that he did. As sports fans, however, we have no obligation -- or reason -- to withhold judgment. In juicing to transform from 1991 Barry into 2001 Barry -- just look at pictures of him from those two years; it doesn't happen -- he forfeited his honor as an athlete even if no statute proscribed his actions and even if baseball was lax in imposing official penalties for steroid use.

Wordygurdy, I can probably agree that Bonds was Hall-bound even before the time when he was clearly juicing, but for his sins against the game, I think he should be denied entry as penalty. Nobody argues that Pete Rose and Joe Jackson were unworthy of induction stat-wise, but they tarnished the game so badly they had to be kept out of the Hall as punishment, and each man deserved what he got (despite what Rose or, in Jackson's case, Kevin Costner, would have you believe).

I can accept that Bonds violated a principle of a lesser order than did Rose and Jackson. Those two broke the gambling rule, which is paramount because gambling undermines the fundamental expectation that everyone is playing to win. Bonds certainly has always played to win. But in terms of the actual damage done to the sport, Bonds has created more harm. Jackson contributed to the perversion of a single World Series. Rose broke the rules but there remains no evidence that his actions affected the outcome of a single baseball game. Bonds, on the other hand, has permanently soiled the stat books with his impossible numbers and sent the compass of baseball greatness spinning wildly. On balance, he deserves to share the fate of Jackson and Rose.

As for all of the others, including Giambi, who've been similarly exposed, a pox on all their houses. Bonds is at the vanguard, and as the greatest player among them even without cheating he has the farthest to fall, but as I mentioned in another thread, I believe that any player should be denied Hall admittance if a voter thinks it is more likely than not that he used steroids to inflate his numbers.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:33 pm 
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This is a nice column on the subject from Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.

I will be very curious to see what, if anything, Selig says or does about the book's revelations. It would be nice to see him suspend Bonds indefinitely until the truth, whatever that is, comes out, but I wouldn't expect that to happen.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:20 pm 
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If Bonds is anything like his former self, he should surpass Ruth in May. It will be an awkward moment indeed. I hope he does it just to see how it's handled, by Selig and by the rest of the world.

Selig shares a big part of the blame for this mess. He presided over the Steroid Era and did nothing until forced to, and by then the damage was done. So here we are.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:23 pm 
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From the Onion:

Barry Bonds Took Steroids, Reports Everyone Who Has Ever Watched Baseball
March 9, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO—With the publication of a book detailing steroid use by San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds, two San Francisco Chronicle reporters have corroborated the claims of Bonds' steroid abuse made by every single person who has watched or even loosely followed the game of baseball over the past five years.


The Onion also reports that MLB has decided that obesity will now be called Kirby Puckett's Disease.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:54 pm 
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Here is something as laughable as the Onion.

Especially the disclaimer:

Quote:
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:06 am 
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Let's keep in mind that whether Bonds did anything illegal has nothing to do with whether Bud Selig can kick him out of baseball in the next 10 minutes. Selig can do whatever he deems necessary "in the best interests of the game" ... even though he has taken a perverse view of just what that means.

Immediately after Bud Selig kicks out Barry Bonds, he should kick himself out.

Of course, he won't do either.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:53 am 
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ESPN.com wrote:
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds plans to sue the authors and publisher of a book that alleges the San Francisco Giants' slugger used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds' attorneys sent a letter Thursday to an agent for the authors of "Game of Shadows," alerting them of plans to sue the writers, publisher Gotham Books, the San Francisco Chronicle and Sports Illustrated, which published excerpts this month.

"Our client, Barry Bonds, will seek an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order against them, as well as Gotham Books/Penguin USA, Sports Illustrated Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle," Alison Berry Wilkinson, an associate of Bonds' lead attorney, Michael Rains, wrote in the letter. "This injunctive action will be brought pursuant to California's Unfair Competition Law ... to obtain, in summary, disgorgement of any profits related to or derived from the publication and distribution of the book."

The letter, signed by Wilkinson, was posted on the Chronicle's Web site. A hearing was tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in San Francisco Superior Court.

"The reason we filed in the lawsuit in the simplest terms possible is to prevent the authors from promoting themselves and profiting from illegal conduct," Rains told The Associated Press on Thursday.

He said laws prohibit people from possessing grand jury materials unless they are unsealed and said authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, both also reporters for the Chronicle, "have made a complete farce of the criminal justice system."


Notice what this isn't: a libel suit. I wonder why that could be?

By filing an action but not in libel, Bonds makes himself look even worse.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:42 pm 
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Even if the suit is successful -- and most of the talking heads I've seen on TV say it has no shot -- it does absolutely nothing to clear Bonds' name. Seems like a totally useless exercise to take the focus off of the "did he or didn't he" talk.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:34 pm 
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From AP's Opening Day story:

The AP wrote:
But for a game whose beauty rests in its certainty — clean lines, clear rules, ball or strike, out or safe — the steroids controversy has raised an awful lot of questions with murky answers, or no answers at all.

Example: How can Bonds, who was booed roundly in spring training appearances, alone be the object of such intense rage by fans when so many other players blew up like Macy's parade floats beginning in the 1990s, era of the baseball power surge?


Um. There's nothing "murky" about that at all, AP. Bonds is the one challenging Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.


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