No athlete in the last few years has garnered more attention than Barry Bonds. He pursued and broke the single-season home run record in 2001 when he hit 73. Now, as Bonds sits seven dingers from breaking Babe Ruth's career mark of 714 and 48 shy of Hank Aaron's career record 755, Bonds in swirling in controversy. The allegations of him using steroids overshadow his march toward history.
But those allegations call into question his entire career. Should he be voted into the Hall of Fame? Should his home run record of 73 stand? Should he break Aaron's mark? If he does, will it be tarnished?
What They're Saying
Rob Neyer: "Performance-enhancing drugs did turn Bonds into a figure of great historical significance (statistically speaking, at least). They did not turn him into a Hall of Famer. That came from good genes and (let us charitably assume) plenty of hard work. It seems to me that if you don't vote for Bonds, you're doing it to punish him for the (perceived) ill he has done to the game. Perhaps that is the appropriate reaction. But I'm not sure "moralist" is in the voter's job description. I do know that character is supposed to be considered. But with very few exceptions, it hasn't been."
March 9, 2006
Skip Bayless: "How can the United States attorney's office in San Francisco not pursue a perjury indictment against Bonds for his testimony to the BALCO grand jury? Are there simply too many Bonds fans and Giants season-ticket holders in that office? Are they more concerned with being at SBC Park the nights he passes Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron on the all-time home-run list?"
March 9, 2006
David Wells: "No. Not really." (When asked if he wanted Barry Bonds to pass Babe Ruth's mark of 714 career home runs).
Joe Torre: "I think the one thing that baseball has always tried to maintain was the integrity because our game more than any other game statistics are so important. I think that right now that is called into question, and it's a shame in Barry's case. He's such a good player ... long, long ago before there was any doubt on what made him good."
March 8, 2006
Peter Gammons: "Whether he's ever found guilty by anyone but the court of public opinion, Bonds, the best player of his era, now stands as the monument to the worst of the era. Selig has to pray that if Bonds hits home runs No. 715 and 716, he does it in San Francisco against the Rockies in a 10:05 p.m. ET start with three rain delays."
March 8, 2006
Bonds embodies best, worst of era
Jim Caple: "We'll see what the nation's reaction will be as Bonds approaches Aaron (assuming he's healthy enough to do so), but here's one guarantee. It will not be the national lovefest McGwire and Sosa received in 1998, when those two sluggers captivated us amid gloomier news of a White House scandal and a falling stock market."
Jan. 13, 2006