We were talking today on my show about how Cardinal Nation will greet Barry Bonds this weekend at Busch Stadium, especially with him only 4 homers away from tying Hank Aaron's all-time record. Many callers said they can't get past the steroids allegations, and would boo him heartily. Several others said they'd like to see him hit home runs here, because they want to be part of the historic season in which he passes Aaron. There were also a few who hoped to get the ball once it's over the wall, and then sell it for a tidy sum on eBay.
Then there's this e-mail from Philip Agne:
Why I'll cheer Barry Bonds: because I'm a baseball fan.
Hear me out folks. I know this is not a popular view, but let's put some perspective on this. Has Barry taken steroids or growth hormone? Probably. Have others in this era? Absolutely. Have they all had the chance? No doubt! Would Hank Aaron have done the same in this era? Can't say no. Would Babe Ruth have done the same in this era? Same answer.
If I'm gonna boo Barry, or sit on my hands, as some suggest, I might as well do it all day at the ballpark. This is the steroid and growth hormone era. That's just the way it is. Baseball let it happen just like they let stimulants happen for over 90 years. They finally got around to doing something about that last year.
Do we seek to put asterisks by the marks of the "greenie" era? Nope. Why start now? Were they cheating? Not really. No rule against it. Just like steroids. Was it illegal? You bet! Do we accept that as a lesser infraction? Seems that most do. Do we wanna march the old timers out in front of Congress?...LOL. No way!
I hated watching these young guys lie, so don't make those old men do it. I take part of that back. One guy I know didn't lie, and he was the one vilified. Barry is simply the scapegoat here. He is a good one too. He wasn't well liked before he got big so it's easy to hate him now.
Now I'll get to the real reason I cheer Barry. He is the best player of this era, and everything that came with it. I can't blame him for when he played the game. I still love the game so I'll cheer Barry. It's not perfect and neither is he.