Barry Bonds was really good at baseball. In the psyche of many baseball fans his success is somehow diminished by his use of performance enhancing drugs, and that’s fine, this isn’t a regurgitation of my feelings on the subject, which have been written about on several different occasions on this blog. However, no matter what your opinion is on the legitimacy of Bonds’ record breaking career, you can’t convincingly suggest that he wasn’t one of the most talented players to ever play the game.
I think we too easily dismiss Bonds’ accomplishments because in our minds we believe the supplements he was taking to be some sort of magic elixir that resulted in records being otherwise inexplicably obliterated. That’s simply not the case. We’ve seen other PED users fail to produce a fraction of Bonds’ value as a batter. If it was all just as simple as popping a pill and showing up to do extraordinary things on a baseball field, then every player would not only be using banned substances, but playing at a Bondsian level in the process.
I think that this odd collective resistance to accepting Bonds’ immense talent is due to a couple of factors, not the least of which is our own lack of understanding when it comes to steroids and other performance enhancers. Bonds did himself no favours in the public eye by being what is politely referred to as “difficult” with the media during his time as the dominator of baseball.
It’s been five years since Bonds played, and a lot has changed.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger was at AT&T Park yesterday with a group of children “in a charitable capacity,” prior to the Giants’ 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. While there, he spent some time with the media to talk about everything from his appeal of last year’s conviction for obstruction of justice to a potential role with his former club.
Bonds, constantly referring to himself as a convicted felon, told the assembled press that he’s spoken with Giants CEO Larry Baer about his future which could include a job with the team, most likely as a roving instructor.
My expertise is baseball. If you believe that I can contribute and help the organization, then fine. If you don’t, fine. I’m just saying it’s out there.
Bonds also spoke about the possibility of him being inducted into the Hall of Fame:
I have no idea. That’s up to the writers. I don’t worry about that stuff. I’ll be at home having a good time with my kids. Or hopefully here. Doing some stuff for other kids. That’ll take care of itself. I don’t need to worry about that stuff. You guys know me. I don’t try to predict the future or analyze how other people are thinking or how it’s going to turn out … it would be very sad if it didn’t happen. That’s why I don’t need to comment on it. There’s really no need.
In this blogger’s humble opinion, there will be no need to ever even consider the Hall of Fame again, if Bonds isn’t voted in.
And The Rest
Hot hitting Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy will be out for four to six weeks after breaking his hand in a bizarre fashion. [Disciples Of Uecker]
Hideki Matsui is set to join the Tampa Bay Rays today, but he won’t be using his regular number. [Rays Index]
Meanwhile, Manny Ramirez will not be joining the Oakland A’s when he’s scheduled to do so tomorrow. The veteran slugger will need a little bit more warming up in the Minors before making his debut. [Bay Area Sports]
Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale struck out 15 batters en route to a 2-1 victory over the almost as impressive Matt Moore and the Tampa Bay Rays. [South Side Sox]
Lonny Chisenhall will be playing in baseball games for the Cleveland Indians. Hold on to your butts. [Let's Go Tribe]
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver left a wild game against the New York Yankees in the first inning after aggravating his lower back. The Angels went on to win the game 9-8 thanks to a walk off home run from Mark Trumbo. [Monkey With A Halo]
This is what Bryce Harper learned from his first match up against Livan Hernandez. [Washington Post]
Miami Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo has been officially suspended by Major League Baseball. [MLB.com]
New York Mets third baseman David Wright filled in at shortstop yesterday. [The Star-Ledger]
Don’t look now, but the Pittsburgh Pirates are a .500 baseball club once again. [TribLive Sports]
Jim Leyland doesn’t care much for incompetent umpires. [MLB.com]
Here’s the play that Leyland was complaining about. [Bless You Boys]
When will a New York Mets pitcher throw a no hitter? No, really, when? [Baseball Prospectus]
The latest DJF Podcast is ready and raring to go. [DJF]
As well, yesterday’s edition of The Getting Blanked Show is available for your viewing pleasure. We talk about the way teams are locking up their talent when they get the chance, dismiss the future of Ubaldo Jimenez and talk about how good Chris Sale is before yesterday’s masterpiece. [Getting Blanked]