Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

He's Baaaack, (for a few days that is)

There are few men in the baseball world that can polarize fans on both sides of the spectrum than Barry Bonds.  I’ll admit that the guy raises a lot of emotions in me.  I really never liked the guy.  I hated him as an opponent, probably because he was the greatest hitter that I ever saw, and he was a Giant at that.  Added to those facts were that his exploits robbed the Dodgers of some post season play and there you have the most despised ballplayer that I ever witnessed.

Still, with all that said, I’ll admit that Bonds was a Hall of Fame player before he even started juicing.  The tragic part about the whole story was that Bonds simply didn’t need to juice, but he couldn’t stomach the fact that inferior players like Sosa and McGwire were grabbing headlines and that they were obviously using performance enhancing drugs in the process.  Bonds’ ego couldn’t handle that and in one off season he gained 35 lbs. of muscle and eventually went on a home run hitting tear that no one has ever witnessed in baseball history.

So when ESPN’s Jim Caple wrote a a piece on Bonds, lauding his return to the game as a coach with the Giants, it raised the ire of many baseball fans, and I must say that includes me.  Caple welcomed Bonds back into the game and spoke of how he was happy to see him back on a baseball field.

Based on the comments section of Caple’s piece, it is easy to see how differing the opinions are about Bonds.  Additionally, those commenting fans are quite passionate about their opinions as well.  Their name calling and vitriol is alarming.  This guy really sets some people off.  It makes me wonder how healthy the debate is.

Truth of the matter is we probably shouldn’t get all upset about his return.  It’s not like he’s returning to play again.  He’s coaching during seven days of spring training.  That's it.

When you consider that current Dodger hitting coach is the poster boy for performance enhancing drug use and the baseball era that defined it, shouldn’t we be the last people to throw stones at the glass house?  It’s not as if steroid users have been banished from the game and not welcomed back.  Andy Pettite, Matt Williams and last year’s World Series hero David Ortiz were all implicated in ‘roid use, and they’ve been seemingly forgiven.  Is it fair to blackball Bonds?  To that I say, “probably yes.”

There’s a distint separation between those people and Bonds and it is defined with one word: CONTRITION.  Those guys apologized.  Barry hasn’t and there is no sign he ever will.  In fact, there’s no sign that he’ll ever admit to doing anything wrong.

Who will forget Bonds attitude through the entire circus that followed the revelations that he was a PED user? The all time home run king* has never admitted the obvious, and that is insulting to many.   In the process he broke the most storied records in the history of the game and never apologized for it.  Add to that It was his willingness to let his “friend” Greg Anderson rot in jail while he refused to admit that he supplied the obvious to Bonds.
There’s still a lot of ugliness to the whole Bonds saga.

Here we are, 7 years later and Bonds is back in the conversation of many.  He causes many of us to think.  He forces many of us to contradict ourselves.  I did that by voting for him on my IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, as I figured that not voting for him in his first year of eligibility was punishment enough.  But even after casting my vote, I’ve second guessed that decision more than once and been challenged by others regarding that decision.  I’m second guessing myself again today.

I wish the guy would go away.  Here I am writing about him.  I bet Barry loves that.

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