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Barry Bonds, Steroids, Justin Verlander and Sam Walker

Just in case you haven’t heard, there’s a new book out about Barry Bonds and his alleged steroid use. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up and read it or not, because it sounds more soap opera esque then anything. But of course I don’t want to pass judgement because I haven’t actually read the thing. I do have a few thoughts.

The whole steroids thing just feels like old news to me. If Barry Bonds began using steroids in 1998, that’s almost eight years old. This is hardly cutting edge journalism. Where was everyone five or ten years ago when steroid use was supposedly at it’s peak?

I also don’t like the self righteousness of some in the media. Dan Wetzel’s on our local radio station and he sounds like he really knows his stuff. Then he writes something like this. It just has the feel of kicking someone when they’re down. I know I’ve made mistakes and errors in judgement in the past, so I’m glad someone wasn’t there to write about it so everyone could read about my mistakes. I know that’s the job of the media, but again, where were these people back when this stuff was really going down. And not to pick on Mr. Wetzel, because there’s several people in the media who have been doing this.

I was listening to Pat Caputo yesterday on the radio, and I think he’s the most honest person I’ve heard speak out on this stuff. He’s said publicly that he suspected that something odd was going on, but everyone’s turned a blind eye. When it comes to pointing fingers, it’s easy to say Barry Bonds was a cheater. But if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And everyone from the media, to the owners, to the coaches and down to the players who were aware of all this should share the blame.

As far as Barry Bonds goes, he’s made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. He also doesn’t owe us anything, whether it’s an apology or an explanation. At least he doesn’t owe me anything. He has to live with his mistakes, not me.

Justin Verlander had a decent start yesterday after getting shelled in a relief appearance earlier in the spring season. He threw 2 2/3 and gave up a run on four hits. His primary competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, Roman Colon, hasn’t fared much better so things are still wide open.

Sam Walker, the author of “Fantasyland” will be at the Borders on Main Street in Ann Arbor this Tuesday. Fantasyland is a fantastic book, and I’ll be going out to meet Mr. Walker.

Very well put Brian. I would rephrase one thing: If you were part of the problem, don’t pretend that you’ve always been part of the solution. Do as Pat Caputo did and admit you turned a blind eye.

There is so much high-horse moralizing going on in the media that it’s sickening. Let’s not forget that for the first several years Bonds was allegedly using steroids, they weren’t illegal in Major League Baseball. Very few people said a damn thing about it, myself included. The difference is that I don’t pretend to be part of the solution.

Posted by Dan on March 9th, 2006 at 11:06 am

You make a good point about this being old news since the first alleged infractions are eight-years-old, but it really shows you what a low Major League Baseball was at eight years ago.

Can you imagine if it had come out that Emmitt Smith was using steroids, legal by the NFL or not, to break Walter Payton’s rushign record? The kind of media storm there would have been right away woudl have put the current one to shame.

I really think this can all be traced back to the strike. Granted, there are several allegations before the strike (Jose Canseco’s career), but it was the damage that was inflicted by the strike that led to everyone ignoring steroids and other Performance enhancing drugs.

The country (and media) wanted basbeall to be special again and wasn’t worried that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were mortaging their legacies, careers and possibly lives to do it.

So, if you really want to broaden the scope of blame you could go so far as to include anyone who watched McGwire and Sosa as they chased Roger Maris. Myself included.

This is why it’s a sticky situation placing blame on third-party members. Anyone could be helped responsible.

Without getting into too much of a philisophical discussion, I’ll just say no one forced these players to do the drugs, and don’t forget the sizable monetary gains these players had from the drugs, ie. Jason Giambi.

Posted by Brad on March 9th, 2006 at 11:56 am

Good points, Brad. Did everyone forget that Mark McGwire had Andro in his locker? This is a “supplement” that literally raises your testosterone level right after you take it. It was swept under the rug.

It only became an issue when the mob mentality kicked in, and large masses of people, congress included, decided that it was an easy way to grandstand prop oneself on a moral pedestal. It’s a joke.

Posted by Dan on March 9th, 2006 at 3:24 pm

Shane Halter took steroids too so why dont so why dont we put a * after all of his stats

Posted by Darryl on March 12th, 2006 at 9:04 pm

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