Writers juiced about Bonds from one coast to the other

OTHER VOICES

The Kickoff

March 09, 2006

A sampling of opinion from papers around the country on Barry Bonds:

Lisa Olson,

New York Daily News:

If Barry Bonds is smart - and there's no proof he's ever been Mensa material - he wouldn't put away his blond wig and falsies just yet.

If ever Bonds needed a disguise, it is now. If he cared about repairing the great damage he has done to a great game, he wouldn't dare show his freakishly massive head in any ballpark ever again.

If he had any decency left in his needle-pricked behind, he would slip quietly into the shadows with all the other selfish cheats and greedy liars and never be heard from again.

At least Jason Giambi had the courage to sort-of apologize for whatever illegal measures he took that made his muscles go boom.

Bonds' ego always has been his weakest link. Had he 'fessed up years ago, when the BALCO scandal was just beginning to howl, the public would have understood. Americans like their idols slightly flawed.

But no, Bonds had to get up in the world's face and dare it to find proof. And when it did, when excerpts from a meticulously researched book by a pair of San Francisco Chronicle reporters began to appear on Tuesday, Bonds scurried away like the weakest of wimps.

Jennifer Floyd Engel,

Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

What this Bonds story is about now is if baseball commish Bud Selig finally has the coconuts to say, "Enough."

Because Bonds must be booted from baseball. Forced to retire. Quietly sent packing. Whatever. However. Just do it.

Bye-bye, Barry.

He has been a persistent pall on everything baseball has done and attempted to do for too long now, and he must not be allowed to take another swing at Hank Aaron's home run record - probably sports' greatest mark.

Or Babe Ruth, for that matter.

Larry Stone,

Seattle Times:

This time, Bonds is not going to be able to explain it away by saying he thought he was using flaxseed oil, as he attempted to do, with epic disingenuousness, when confronted by the BALCO grand jury in December 2003. He can't huff, as he does with growing frequency, about everyone being out to get him. He can't victimize himself out of this one.

No, the term "dead to rights" comes to mind. As many suspected, but the fair-minded refrained from using against him barring stronger evidence, it's all proven fraudulent in this damning piece of investigative journalism. Diminished to the point of irrelevance: The spectacular seasons from 1998 to 2004 that, at an age virtually every other player began their decline, usurped the very best of Babe Ruth; the 73 home runs in 2001 that gave Bonds ownership of what might be the most coveted title in all of sports - single-season home run champion.

Scott Bordow,

East Valley Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.:

Bonds wasn't a baseball player. He was a lab rat.

If you read the excerpt on SI.com - and I urge you to - it's impossible to look at Bonds without contempt. He lied, he cheated and, most reprehensibly, he undoubtedly influenced more than a few kids to take steroids.

Bonds' defenders will point out - as they always have - that Major League Baseball didn't enact steroid testing until 2004. What they fail to mention - as they always have - is that ingesting steroids without a prescription is illegal.

Bonds not only cheated the spirit of the game, he broke the law.

And please, let's not make this a racial issue. If there had been as much evidence on Mark McGwire as there is Bonds, he too would be the subject of a damning book.

Bill Conlin,

Philadelphia Daily News:

When Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams hits the bookstores later this month, Barry Bonds will be revealed as the biggest juicer since Anita Bryant. And baseball's biggest liar since Pete Rose.

According to the juicers' First Amendment, an athlete is presumed innocent until the pee changes color, even when his head has expanded to the size of one of those Mardi Gras goblins.

Even when his Michelin Tire Man body bulges out of a uniform like sausage in an overstuffed casing.

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