Having just finished reading Game of Shadows ? the alleged tell-all book in which the authors claim to have records detailing Barry Bonds', as well as other athletes', use of performance-enhancing drugs ? it has become crystal clear that Bonds cheated, continues to cheat, and could not care less about it.
Bonds just about says this when he claims in his grand jury testimony that he hasn't played in a baseball game since college when he attended Arizona State University. Basically, what he's saying, and what he continues to say, is that he is an entertainer and not a competitor. He conveniently forgets how his alleged cheating has impacted the other players in the game, both past and present.
And how, every night, in every stadium he plays in, he is the only person who is in on this little secret.
When I go to a game, I'm not there to be entertained. I'm there to see the team I support try to win. And when I make a wager on a team, I'm not doing it for the entertainment; I'm doing it to win. If I go to Vegas and play blackjack or craps, I consider that to be entertainment.
While I would like to win, and I don't believe the outcome has been predetermined, I still understand the odds are against me coming away a winner.
But Bonds apparently doesn't see playing baseball as a competition. It sounds as though he views it as our opportunity to watch an "entertainer" stand up there and be walked two or three times a game and, maybe, just maybe, see him grace our presence with a home run.
Get over yourself, Barry. Not only are you coming off like a pompous ass, you are also making an impact on the game that the record books will reflect forever.
For example, since 1999, when his steroid use is alleged to have begun, the San Francisco Giants have won or finished second in the NL West every year, except for last year when he spent just about all of the season on the disabled list, and they finished third. Take away Bonds' production, or fill in the production that most players would contribute, and the Giants find themselves in a different position.
Also, as he approached 40 years old, his numbers would naturally decline, not go up. With that factored in, the Giants truly would be hurting for production from Bonds.
Just ask Albert Pujols, who has finished second to Bonds in National League MVP voting twice, how Bonds' steroid use has impacted his post-season award possibilities.
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Unfortunately, the players who have truly been impacted by Bonds' steroid use are the players who finished playing the game years ago.
Bonds, along with Mark McGwire, has succeeded at setting the bar so high that no one will be able to approach their records. In doing so, they have made the average fan believe that 40 home runs a season is nice, but not Hall of Fame-worthy. One player who has been affected by this is Andrew Dawson. Dawson hit 438 home runs and drove in 1,591 RBIs. He also played baseball for 21 years and has 2,774 hits with 8 Gold Gloves and 314 stolen bases. With close to 10 knee surgeries, Dawson should have been the one allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs, not Bonds.
One thing I love about Bonds is that he refuses to even admit that Game of Shadows exists. The book has been out for about three months now and I have yet to hear of a lawsuit filed on Bonds' behalf that contests the contents of the book. And yet everyone just casually goes about their sports day, without a care that Bonds continues to cheat because, as an entertainer, he feels he can.
As the book explains, Bonds has never had to stand before anyone and explain his actions ? not even when he was a kid.
He was always the best player on the team, received the benefits that comes with that title, and he continues to expect that to be the case. Regardless of how it impacts his body, the other players in the game, the kids growing up who are learning the game, or the record books ? Bonds is concerned with one thing ? reaping the financial advantages that being an "entertainer" in baseball provides.
And regardless of who has to pay to make that happen, Bonds is only too happy to stand there and take the paychecks and accolades that come with it. I've often wondered how he sleeps at night, knowing that he has an advantage that many other players don't have ? that he has cheated to get to where he is. And the only answer I can come up with is that when you are on the stage and being an entertainer, it's just acting. It's not who you really are ? so you can get away with more.
The question I have for Bonds is, when the show is over and you walk off the stage ? who are you then?
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