Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 31, 2006
BASEBALL: He Won't Go All The Way

Eric McErlain asks about George Mitchell's investigation of Barry Bonds: "What are you prepared to do?"

Posted by Baseball Crank at 5:59 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

While Bonds should be banned....

AThis guy lost me on his very first sentence. "20 years of rampant steroid use". Ooooookay. For proof? He links to cite some kind of DEFENSIVE stats comparisons between McGwire and Conseco from 1990.

WTF?

Please - if you want to throw Bonds out (like I do) then cite something relevent. Or at least - read what you link to!

Posted by: Dave at March 31, 2006 7:09 PM

There is no possible way to throw Barry Bonds out of baseball for something which currently has an explicitly spelled-out punishment that is less than that. It's debateable whether actions preceding the current collectively-bargained steroid policy could be considered a strike under that policy, but at most, that's all it would be - a first strike.

Posted by: Jerry at March 31, 2006 9:25 PM

Dave -- My 20 years comment was a little over the top. With my link, I thought it was obvious that I was referring to Jose Canseco's revelations about his own drug use. In retrospect, I should have made that clearer.

Jerry -- again, I should have been more precise. I don't believe Bonds can be banned based on his steroid use either as it wasn't against the rules of the game at the time. However, the investigation itself, if conducted in a certain way with press leaks and the like, could very well be used to create massive public pressure on Bonds to walk away.

Imagine this: A continuous series of leaks as Bonds approaches first Ruth's than Aaron's records. He's already said that he's not concerned with besting Aaron's record, and as far as MLB is concerned, the sooner he leaves the better.

Posted by: Eric at April 1, 2006 1:15 AM

My distaste for Bonds has been documented here before, but you can not punish he or any of the other suspects for something they did prior to the rule change. Baseball and other sports has a long history of abusers of various types. Baseball need to shutdown this investigation and move forward. It will only stain the season and offer a significant distraction from the season and the players. Instead they need to get serious about enforcing and reenforcing the new rules. From there if you catch him or anyone else, hit hard and fast with no mercy.

Posted by: maddirishman at April 1, 2006 10:13 AM

My take is that there will be few if any formal punishments, but that "the Knights of the Keyboard" (to borrow Ted Williams' sardonic nickname for his nemeses in the baseball media) will use the findings as a figleaf for not voting the alleged offenders into Cooperstown, or--as in the case of Bonds--lowering their perceived position within the standings of all-time greats.

Bonds is still in a groove and even another year off for a suspension is unlikely to stop him if he gets in a vindictive mood--I can see him hitting thirty longballs or so this year, serving a year suspension, and coming back and breaking Aaron's record in 2008 out of sheer spite with some team that doesn't mind hosting a pariah if Selig gets heavy-handed in response to the committee's findings.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at April 1, 2006 11:20 AM

For what it's worth: Tom House (Remember him? he caught number 715) says that steroid use was common back in the Seventies.

Posted by: Jim O'Sullivan at April 2, 2006 10:38 AM

Actually, I think what House is saying is that he himself tried steroids in the 70s. He says that amphetimine use was common at the time, which I think everyone has known for a while, but I don't see any comment that steroid use was widespread. Most ballplayers in the 70's didn't even lift weights.

Posted by: Jerry at April 2, 2006 12:28 PM

Bonds, like Rose, should be in the HoF. Their plaques should tell the story- years played, significant numbers. The prose should be dedicated to their failings, and the effects on baseball. Theirs should be an extraordinary induction, done during the off-season, w/ no ceremony.

Posted by: seamus at April 2, 2006 6:43 PM

That is a GREAT idea. They do both belong, but there does need to be a footnote.

Posted by: maddirishman at April 2, 2006 7:52 PM

I'd like to take full credit, but Bill Simmons put something similar in a column not long ago. I'd been thinking along these lines, and add the "special induction/no ceremony" as a kicker.

Posted by: seamus at April 3, 2006 7:25 PM
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