Monday, February 14, 2011

Is Going After Barry Bonds a Good Use of Taxpayer Dollars?

The Major League Baseball Home Run King, Barry Bonds is being hounded by some prosecutors who apparently want to make an example out of him. Is this really a good use of taxpayer dollars? Like they say in the Microsoft phone commercials..."Really?"

Here is how I see things. There clearly was a "steroid era" in MLB. Several players have admitted to steroid use and others, including Mr. Bonds have not admitted to knowingly using steroids. I have a problem with a couple of issues.

  1. Assuming a player used steroids during the time period in question, it was not against Major League Baseball rules.
  2. Before Coca-Cola had its cocaine additive removed from its soft drink, almost all Major League Baseball players in that era drank Coca-Cola with cocaine. Cocaine is now an illegal drug, as we all well know.
Here is my beef. During Barry Bonds' career, he was given several drug tests. Supposedly, he passed all of them. However, because of an agreement with the players union, there were some tests that were sealed and agreed upon with Major League Baseball never to be unsealed. This is proof positive that Major League Baseball knew that the release of these tests may harm the reputation of Major League Baseball.

There may have been a rumor (as a result of the leakage of these tests) that Barry Bonds may have failed a test. This is only a rumor. Even if it were true, if this test or tests were leaked in violation of an agreement with Major League Baseball, then in my opinion this is tantamount to a violation of due process. You will find the due process clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, it should not be admissible in court or held against him in the world of public opinion.

Baseball Writer's of America are what is often called, "baseball purists." This means that they hold the statistics that make up the game of baseball in a idolised manner. The problem with this logic is that there is no pure baseball statistics that have survived Major League Baseball. My proof is that from 1891 to 1903, Coca-Cola had cocaine as one of its ingredients. Every Major League Baseball player at the time, more than likely drank a bottle of Coca-Cola from time to time. As a result, these players were playing baseball "on cocaine." You may be thinking that cocaine was not illegal during that time period. My point exactly. Steroids were not against Major League Baseball rules during the "steroid era" time period.

From a "purist" standpoint, all the records of every baseball player who played during this time and drank Coca-Cola should have an asterisk by their name in the record books. Of course, we do not know how many players drank cocaine laced Coca-Cola at the time, but maybe we need a congressional hearing on the subject. Similar, if you will to the congressional hearings on the "steroid era." We know how effective the "steroid era" hearings were, don't we? They managed to tarnish the reputation of some baseball players and the members of congress at those hearings may falsely believe that they elevated their status among the "purists." In reality, it was just a colossal case of wasting taxpayer dollars. These congressional hearings did not accomplish anything other than start a witch hunt against Mr. Bonds and also Mr. Roger Clemens. By the way, I feel the same way about Mr. Clemens as I do Mr. Bonds. There are no asterisks assigned to baseball players records as a result of these congressional hearings. The baseball purists did not win.

As far as Mr. Bonds is concerned, he is being discriminated against because he is black and he beat Babe Ruth's home run record. Stupid people point to the fact that he gained a significant amount of weight during his career and this is proof of steroid use. I compared my weight to Barry Bonds' weight during the same age assumptions and found that I gained just as much weight as Barry Bonds during the same years. So, the weight argument is idiotic and just something stupid people want to believe.

Secondarily, any baseball player that has ever broken Babe Ruth's records has been belittled and discriminated against. I cite Hank Aaron and Roger Maris as examples. Both men suffered unbelievable insults and indignities for their efforts. Mr. Bonds is a black man. He also had a love hate relationship with the press. This occurred because he told a reporter something one time and that reporter printed a lie. After that, Mr. Bonds soured on speaking to the press and for a long time, he refused to speak to them at all. This is another factor in why there are people who are against him. The press prints all this bad stuff and most of America reads it and believes it. Now, when he needs support, he can find little, because the baseball writers and the press continue to "pay back" Mr. Bonds for blowing them off over the years of his career.

It is kind of similar to the truth in media problem that we have today. We now see clearly that some media outlets spin stories so that their viewers or readers succumb to their desired outcome. This is what has happened to Mr. Bonds. He was sabotaged by the baseball writers. Of course, we know the baseball writers are without sin, don't we?

Thirdly, I have played baseball in the past myself for more than 20 years in the Men's Senior Baseball League. I know that "puffed up" players, those that lift a lot of weights, are not good baseball players. I also know baseball talent when I see it. There are some players who have special talents and their are others who are not as good. I can tell you that if you play baseball year after year, then you get better at it. In my case, I always had speed, but over the years, my hitting improved significantly and my fielding did as well. Why? Because I worked hard at it, not unlike Mr. Bonds. Without a doubt, Mr. Bonds is one of the most talented baseball players that ever lived. His bat speed and the shortness of his stroke is what generated the power. No steroid on the planet is going to give him or anyone else this talent. Either you have it or you do not. Mr. Bonds has the talent and it is not because of any steroid use. It is because he learned it and harnessed it by working hard. You see working hard for something that you want is a good trait in America. This is a common American value that a lot of us strive to achieve.

As you watch, the proceedings of the upcoming Barry Bonds taxpayer waste of money court proceedings and hear the press and baseball writers give you their opinions, keep in mind the fallacy in what you are witnessing. In this day and time, we should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on trying to prove that Mr. Bonds allegedly lied. What is the point? The point is to treat him like Hank Aaron and Roger Maris.

Is this good for baseball or America for that matter? Personally, I do not believe so.

I hope Mr. Bonds wins his case. It is not going to matter whether he wins or loses to some baseball writers. They will continue their racist rants against Mr. Bonds regardless whether he is proven innocent or found guilty. I believe that proves my point about the "purists." They are wrong. They are never going to get an asterisk in the record books, so they should just shut up and quit whining about it.

Just so you know, there is no bigger fan of Major League Baseball and baseball in general than me. Mr. Bonds is the Major League Baseball Home Run King. I'm sorry you baseball purists do not believe so.