(Editor's Note, I know this is a sports story and a significant number of my readers don't really care. But the sports commentary following his breaking the record pissed me off so I felt the need to post.)
The baseball world can finally take a breath. Barry Bonds hit a 3-2 pitch over the center field wall last night to pass Hank Aaron as the All Time Career Leader in homeruns.
And he cheated to do it.
For a significant portion of his career he was on the junk, juiced, hopped up on 'roids. He took performance enhancing drugs to make himself into something that he wasn't. He turned himself into a home run hitting machine.
Let's look at the numbers. From 1986 to 1999, Barry Bonds hit 40 or more homeruns only three times (1993 - 46 HRs, 1996 - 42 HRs, 1997 - 40HRs).
Then suddenly, for a five year stretch from 2000 to 2004 Bonds hit between 45 and 49 homers every year with only one exception - 2001. In 2001, Bonds hit 73 homeruns.
Since 2004 and the Balco scandal and the increased drug testing, Bonds is yet to hit more than 26 homeruns in a season. True, he has battled injuries, but all you have to do is look at the picture below to know why everyone believes that Bonds is a cheater. Body types don't change that much and heads don't grow that much without the help of steroids and Human Growth Hormones.
As I listened to the news coverage this morning on sports radio, I heard commentator after commentator say that because we don't know how many pitchers he faced were also on the juice, Bonds probably was playing on a more even playing field than we think and therefore the record is probably more legitimate than we are giving him credit for. (Damn prepositions!)
By saying that, you are assuming other players had the same access to drugs, the same access to chemists and sports voodoo doctors that Bonds did and that is a false assumption. By making that argument, you are saying the competition wasn't about performance on the field but instead was about performance in the lab. Who had the best juice and who took bigger risks with their future health to achieve success today? Those are the only questions answered by claiming everyone was on the junk. And under that argument, the career homerun record was achieved in a competition of human chemisty manipulation, not baseball.
Barry Bonds cheated, if not by the strict letter of the rules of baseball then by the measure of fair competition. As a baseball fan, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth knowing that the most hallowed record in sports is owned by a cheater. And it is a shame that a talented player like Bonds felt the need to piss on the game he loved to play for his own selfish ambitions.
Shame on you Barry Bonds, shame on you.