Working on the coal mine...
Barry and Son Show. "Do do DO do, do do DO do do do do" "I'm having the big one!" Just another rerun of Barry letting off some steam with the unexpected twist of bringing his son in to the Barry Bonds Experience, so he can see what he has to look forward to when he plays baseball (can the Giants draft him now? :^).
Return of the Barry. Barry's coming back, just blowing off steam "I'm tired. I'm old. I've had it. You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore! (oops wrong tirade... :^). He's always healed fast and if the injury had not occurred after surgery, they might have done an MRI on him in mid-February instead of mid-March and we wouldn't be having this discussion. To me, if I had a $20M investment, I would have thrown him in the MRI to be checked out just in case it wasn't the surgery, that there was new damage. Couldn't cost that much, a pittance, compared to losing Barry for a month in the season. Though that could work out that Barry will play full-time and not be so tired in Sept/Oct, but that's really stretching for a silver lining, it is never good to lose a player of his stature.
The Replacements. However, it don't mean everything's going into the tank. The Giants were 2nd in scoring last year, even minus 100 runs for dropoff from Barry, the Giants are still middle of the pack scoring. Vizquel is to Neifi, offensively, as A.J. is to Matheny, so that's a tradeoff, Snow down but Alou better than Tucker/Mohr, and hopefully Alfonzo will return to his old ways. However, their defense is improved with the addition of Vizquel and Matheny, the rotation is better with Lowry vs. Hermanson, Tomko (new) vs. Tomko (old), uninured Schmidt, and hopefully better Williams (likely) and Rueter (unknown but I'm rooting for him), and Armando clarifies the roles in the bullpen and makes it a strong one, BP snide comments about our relievers nonwithstanding (or really, about the Giants on the whole; just because the bumblebee can fly even though physically it doesn't make logical sense doesn't mean that it is not real, the Giants have the 3rd best record in the MLB under Sabean). The Giants should at least be .500 if not competing for the lead while Barry is gone.
Looking in the Mirror. All the reporters handwringing and defensive retorts to Barry calling them ignores the issue - get over it, he wasn't talking about you personally, he was talking about the whole profession. The issue is that there have been journalists who HAVE took it to Barry. I agree he should not act the way he does, but that doesn't mean that journalists can use their position to pillor him unfairly. As I've shown in a couple of articles on sfdugout.com, the media have screwed Barry at least twice in just a few seasons - who knows how many others are out there that we don't know about but I was able to piece together from the wealth of articles now available on the web?
In fact, one of the Merc's reporters probably unknowingly dissed his esteemed colleague by writing recently that Barry backtracked from his Babe Ruth statement. However, his colleague, in an article written in the aftermath of that tempest in a teapot, clearly stated that anyone in that room understood the context, understood that Barry was not serious about his statement about Ruth, that Barry was just kidding around. However, some reporter failed at their job and neglected to include that context and there you have tomorrow's front page headline. Even this reporter, at the SAME newspaper, did not know of his own colleague's column on it, only understood the hyped version of events.
And is it too wild for Barry to actually TRUST his boyhood friend when he offered flaxseed oil and something for his arthritis? Think about the times you have trusted that your friend will do right by you, cooked the food right, drive carefully, take care of your children, etc. Our whole lives are built on that trust otherwise you cannot function. However, if someone betrays that trust, then it is pretty easy to get burned, whether it be your daughter's friends giving her a lethal overdose of a drug, someone putting hashish in the potluck picnic brownies, or someone driving drunk and killing all the passengers. It is obvious from Anderson's statements that Barry didn't respect his opinion as a trainer, so Barry probably thought he was doing an old friend a favor by giving him a job with a nice salary plus get a friend to keep him company while doing the solitary work of building up his muscles. Just because Anderson kept records saying that he was administering drugs to Barry doesn't mean that Barry knew about it.
And yet the press decides to trust the word of Barry's mistress that he once said, ONCE mind you, that he took steroids. Unfortunately today, this whole mistress thing is no news, just embarrassing news for the athletes and their family, especially when there are players who father 8 kids with 7 women or has two kids soon to be born but is engaged to a third woman. So a book on her life as Barry's mistress would be pretty ho-hum, three copies sold. However, throw out the "S" word and now everyone wants to buy her book.
Hmm, sounds like pretty good motive to lie here and the best thing is, she can spread this story in a court of law and nobody can ever prove that she lied, assuming she did. Now, I have no idea whether she is lying or not and I have no idea whether Barry took steroids though everything points to that, but I don't see why people can accept wholeheartedly that she is telling the truth but cannot acknowledge that perhaps Barry's friend just screwed him, just took advantage of his relationship with the Barry? Just maybe? Won't be the first time in history - et tu Brutus? - won't be the last. And if he really is a big ego who thought he can sidestep the law and ethics, it won't be the first either. But to me, there is still a reasonable doubt for any position on this but a lot of people are acting like something is written in stone - nothing has been proven.
And Barry never said in his testimony that he took the cream and the clear, as most reporters are saying, he said he took certain substances from Anderson and the prosecutor (or whoever that person is) said that they sound like the cream and the clear. So why don't the reporters start policing themselves and point out to each other when they are wrong? Why not swing some brickbats at your colleagues who clearly are bringing down the reputation of this once great profession by publishing half-truths or truths as they see them?
The asterisk. I've said it before here and I'll say it again: if you asterisk steroids, you may as well asterisk amphetamine users and this stretches back to at least the 60's if not earlier. Amphetamines are just as bad because it allows players to perform better than they could without the drug. Normally, these players would be too tired to play at their usual high standards but these drugs allow them to play a full season at their full abilities. So they set seasonal and career records that they could not have had they not used the drugs.
That said, if Barry knowingly used steroids, he should just retire and call it a day now, even before he passes Babe. I will respect his abilities because even steroids cannot do anything for you if the ability is not there (hello Marvin Benard and Armando Rios) and there is still the hard work still necessary for the steroids to make you better than you could have on your own. However, don't put your name on top after using the stuff. Besides, there will be an imaginary asterisk to anyone who takes an interest in the great game of baseball, storytelling is one of the great things about baseball, and the story will live on to inform future generations.
But this is an issue that most past generations have had about future generations, whether it be the juiced baseballs of the 20's, the usage of new baseballs instead of beating the crap out of each ball, the mound giving pitchers the advantage in the 60's, etc. And Gaylord Perry is the biggest cheater out there and none of his records are being removed from the record books.