I've spoken about Barry Bonds before, sure. But this year was supposed to be his final undoing. He's spent the last couple of years getting more and more injured. He finally crossed over 700 HR last year and was on the stretch run this year, headed for Hank Aaron's record with the full disdain of the American populace aimed straight at him.
Bonds cheated and lied about it, and now he was gonna get his. Either he wasn't going to break the racord because he was going to get injured now that he wasn't on the juice or he was ging to suddenly and magically age or maybe he'd just die right in front of our eyes, head finally exploding in the middle of a game.
But it appears that the death of Barry Bonds' game was more than a little exagerated.
Bonds is currently second in the NL in HR. He's batting .362 and leading the league in slugging.
Pretty much has been assuming for the past couple of years that Bonds is (or at least was) on some sort of performance enhancing drugs - 'roids, as it were - which is what lead to his late-career remarkable performances (73 HR, his .600+ OBP, his remarkable power and walks). Then Bonds had to take nearly an entire year off - clear signs that post-'roids his body was breaking down. The at the beginning of last year his power appeared to be gone, and his knees were giving out.
This was going to be it. The death of Bonds...
And at this point I'm thinking that pretty much everybody in baseball is watching Bonds like a hawk. If he's taking PEDs now, he's going to be caught in a heartbeat. And I'm thinking that they're testing him like crazy.
So, I feel fairly confident that he's off the juice right now, but he seems to still be hitting like a madman. So what happens if Bonds keeps hitting like this?
Do we assume that he's always been clean?
Do we assume that he's such a great hitter that the PED didn't bring out anything he didn't already have?
Do we ignore the issue because we have absolutely no proof that Bonds either did or didn't take 'roids and just induct him into the hall of fame at the first possible opportunity?
I'm thinking that we have to take the last route.
We have no proof that Bonds ever did 'roids (and if we do have even weak proof, it comes from illegally leaked grand jury testimony - which I'm awfully leary to trust any way).
What we do have is a phenomenal run of hitting, the likes of which haven't been seen before or after in our lifetimes - hitting that is on par with (if not above) Ruth and Williams.
And that hitting has been done with a man who is an absolutely, undeniably, clear jerkhole.
Which doesn't matter in the least when we examine his numbers.
He's the greatest hitter in the past fifty years 0 if not longer - and he's a hall of famer.
I know I'd be buying at least one ticket when the Giants come to Cincy this summer if I weren't out of town over the July 4th homestand.