Tag Archives: Barry Bonds

Put an asterisk next to Bonds’ ‘record’

I detest cheaters; in the context I want to discuss, that would be those who take performance enhancing drugs to boost their athletic prowess.

With that said, I refer to former slugger Barry Bonds, who cheated on his way to hitting a Major League Baseball record 73 home runs in 2001. It occurred during the “steroid era” of MLB. He wasn’t alone, but Bonds’ name has come up as MLB celebrates Aaron Judge’s recent achievement in setting an American League record of 62 home runs in a single season.

MLB had the bad sense after Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season mark back in 1961 to put an asterisk next to Maris’ record, citing the fact that it took him more games to get to 61 than it took Ruth to hit 60 in 1927.

Stupid call, man. MLB eventually removed the asterisk and Maris’ record has stood on its own until Judge broke it this past weekend.

So, here’s what I suggest: Major League Baseball should put an asterisk next to Bonds’ big-league mark of 73 home runs set in 2001.

The only reason I am so hard on Bonds and his cheating is that he could have qualified for the Hall of Fame had he not taken a single PED during that period of time. The guy could a baseball with the best of ’em. Instead, he chose to inflate his numbers by juicing up with drugs.

Instead, he has tarnished his legacy as one of the game’s best hitters and has ensured that the first line in his obituary will include mention of the drugs he took to cheat his way into the record book.

Sad, man!


AL crowns new HR king

Aaron Judge came to Arlington, Texas, to play some hardball and along the way Tuesday night he set an American League record for most home runs in a single season.

The New York Yankees slugger hit his 62nd HR of the season against the Texas Rangers. He surpassed the record set by another Yankees slugger, Roger Maris, who did the deed during that wonderful 1961 home run duel he waged with his teammate, the great Mickey Mantle.

I now want to stipulate something. Even though Judge’s 62 homers fall short of Barry Bonds’ major league record of 73 in a season, or Mark McGwire’s 70, or Sammy Sosa’s two 60-plus HR seasons, I consider Judge to be the real deal. The others are cheaters, as their dingers occurred during baseball’s “steroid era.”

Just as I consider the great Hank Aaron to be the all-time home run king, I will never recognize Bonds’ accomplishments because he is so tainted by the scandal that damn near destroyed the Grand Old Game.

We need no asterisks attached to Aaron Judge’s record.

Well done, Aaron.


700 HR Club needs slight revision

OK, I am going to throw a little bit of cool — not cold — water on any mention of an exclusive baseball club that now includes the name of a living baseball legend.

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols smashed the 700th home run of his legendary career. There likely will be a smattering more before his final regular season comes to an end. Pujols said he plans to retire at the end of the season.

All the baseball pundits, scribes, commentators keep saying Pujols is now the “fourth member” of this club. Two of the preceding members are legendary baseball figures: Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron. The third one gives me trouble: Barry Bonds.

You see, Bonds finished as the No. 1 HR hitter in MLB history after cheating his way through several seasons partaking of performance-enhancing drugs. He hit 762 home runs; Aaron is next with 755; the Bambino finished with 714.

I want to point out something, too, about Aaron and Ruth. Aaron had to face down stark racism and threats against his life when he — as a Black man — chased down the longstanding record held by a white man, Ruth.

As for Ruth, he spent the first several seasons in the big leagues as a pitcher, meaning that he didn’t get to bat every day. It’s been said of Ruth that had he continued to pitch full-time through all those years in a New York Yankees uniform, he’d still be in the Hall of Fame. The Yankees put him in the outfield, though, realizing they needed his bat every day in the lineup.

It worked well for the Yanks.

Barry Bonds isn’t in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know if he’ll ever get in. He’s been tarnished and sullied by his own misdeeds, juicing up his body with PEDs, steroids and assorted other banned chemicals.

Albert Pujols? He has said MLB can “test me every day” for illegal drugs. They won’t find anything in his system. I believe him.

For what it’s worth — and it probably isn’t much — I still consider Henry Aaron to be MLB”s home run king.


See ya later, A-Rod

A rod

Oh, how I wanted to root for Alex Rodriguez.

Back when Barry Bonds was chasing down Henry Aaron’s career home run record, my hope was that if Bonds got the record then A-Rod would come along to snatch it away from Bonds.

I’ve always thought of Hammerin’ Hank to be the “real home run king” as it is, given that he pounded out those 755 homers without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.


Bonds was dirty. A cheater. He’d been suspected of using drugs to make him bigger and stronger. He didn’t deserve to be called Home Run King Barry.

A-Rod would assume the role. Then he became tainted. He tested positive for drug use. Major League Baseball suspended him for the 2014 season.

Now he’s a cheater, too.

Today, Rodriguez announced he would play his final game for the New York Yankees this coming Friday, after which he’ll become something called an “adviser” to the team.

As a one-time baseball fanatic who used to love watching Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Stan Musial, I am left feeling nothing at all about A-Rod’s departure from the Grand Old Game.

He’s a Yankee interloper. He came to the Yanks some years ago after stints with the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. He sought to become the “leader” of baseball’s premier franchise, except that it had a field leader by the name of Derek Jeter.

Sure, he put up some impressive stats for the Yankees. But, wouldn’t you know it, he had help in the form of PEDs.

Now he’s about to be gone from the game.

Alex RodriguezĀ let me down … and I won’t miss him in the least.

What’s more, Henry Aaron is still the home run king.

A-Rod will get no love for passing 'Say Hey'

Alex Rodriguez is just a handful of home runs away from passing a true baseball legend’s career homer mark.

That would be Willie Mays, who finished his storied career with 660 home runs. A-Rod is just a few dingers away from that mark. The Say Hey Kid’s godson, Barry Bonds, cannot figure out why so little attention will be paid to A-Rod when he passes Mays’s mark.


I think I know why, Barry.

It’s because Rodriguez cheated to get as many home runs as he has hit, just like Bonds did.

A-RodĀ has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. He served a season-long suspension in 2014. He’s come back to the New York Yankees to resume his climb up the career home run leader board.

Bonds, of course, hit more home runs than anyone else. You’ll have to excuse this bit of petulance, but I still consider Henry Aaron to be the home run king, even though he hit 755 home runs compared to Bonds’s 762. Aaron didn’t cheat the way Bonds did. Thus, he’s still the Home Run King in my book.

As for A-Rod, it’s always been about him. He’s not a good teammate and his fellow Yankees know that about him.

The Yankees are planning no celebration when A-Rod passes Mays.

Why no love for A-Rod, Barry? It’s because he hasn’t earned it.

A-Rod to sit on bench quietly

That defiant talk by tainted baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez has been replaced by … silence.

The New York Yankees slugger and his blustering lawyer have decided to drop their lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig after the league suspended A-Rod for using performance enhancing drugs.

He’s going to sit out the 2014 season.

I’m more than happy that he’s decided to take his punishment, sit on the sidelines, do whatever he plans to do and avoid the embarrassment of dragging this seedy saga through the courts.

I’ve drawn only one conclusion from Rodriguez’s decision to drop the suit: He’s guilty of what’s been alleged, which is what most baseball observers have known almost since the beginning.

This story angers and saddens me all at once.

I’m angry that a young man with all that talent would allow the injection of human growth hormone and other PEDs to make him bigger and stronger. Spare me the false argument that he did only what other superstars did.

I’m sad because when Barry Bonds broke the career home run record of the real HR king — Henry Aaron — I had hope that Rodriguez would be able to break Bonds’s record because, at the time, I believe A-Rod had not used the PEDs.

For my money, Hammerin’ Hank’s record is likely to stand for a good while longer. I hope it’s forever.

Meanwhile, A-Rod, sit back and enjoy the season along with the rest of us.

Rose shows off his ignorance

Pete Rose once was a heck of a baseball player — who then got caught violating one of the cardinal rules of the game. He placed bets on games involving his own team.

Then-Major League Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti made it clear to Rose: You’re out. You’re banned for life.

Now the all-time hit king has decided he chose the wrong vice. He should have used illegal drugs, or beat up on his wife/girlfriend, he said. That way he’d get a second — maybe a third — chance at getting back into baseball’s good graces.

Rose shows why he’s such a slug.


He probably hasn’t been paying attention to the piles of invective that have been heaped on those who’ve been caught using performance-enhancing drugs. Narcissist that he is, Rose cares only about what’s been said about him since his lifetime ban went into effect in 1989.

I’ve seen the clause in the baseball handbook that deals with gambling. It says anyone caught gambling is banned from the game for the rest of his life. Rose knew that, yes? But he did it anyway.

As for the PED scandal that’s erupted once again with the pending suspension of super-duperstar Alex Rodriguez and a dozen other players, baseball only recently enacted a ban on the drugs’ use. And that was after other big-time players — Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens to name just four — either were suspected of using them or actually admitted to it.

Rose doesn’t deserve to be reinstated. He remains what I’ve thought him to be, a top-notch athlete with gutter-level morals.

MLB’s big dog has been hammered

Bud Selig is now officially my favorite major sports commissioner.

Roger Goodell? David Stern? Gary Bettman? Forget about it.

Major League Baseball’s top man has done the right thing by giving Alex Rodriguez — the one-time heir apparent to Barry Bonds as MLB’s so-called all-time home run king — a 211-game suspension. A-Rod is out for the rest of this season and all of 2014, depending on the outcome of his expected appeal. (I say “so-called” because Hank Aaron, whose mark Bonds surpassed, will remain the real HR king in my eyes; he belted 755 of ’em without cheating.)


Indeed, now A-Rod appears headed for another “heir apparent” role as it regards Bonds: the heir to the most soiled reputation among those believed to have cheated their way into baseball’s record books.

What makes this suspension so welcome is that Selig dropped the hammer on one of the game’s biggest stars. He didn’t reserve this harsh punishment for some utility player or pinch hitter. A-Rod has more than 600 home runs, fifth-most in baseball history. He was closing in on 3,000 base hits and a bunch of other standout numbers I don’t care to discuss today.

A-Rod’s sin has been his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic and its alleged dispensing of performance-enhancing drugs, such as human growth hormones, testosterone and other banned substances. A-Rod has been implicated in all of that, apparently with a mountain of evidence to back up the allegations.

Furthermore, Selig reportedly was steamed at Rodriguez’s insistence in calling all the shots in the negotiations with the baseball front office, which Selig would not tolerate.

Selig has demonstrated some serious manliness in standing up to the game’s great players. He’s already suspended Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun — who plays in Selig’s hometown — over the use of banned substances. And today, he handed out significant suspensions to a dozen other players apart from Rodriguez.

It’s that 211-game suspension that stands out, given Rodriguez’s standing among the current players and the fact that it likely means the end of the line for the star who’s approaching 40 — which makes him an “old man” in the world of big league baseball.

Major League Baseball’s commissioner is making an example of those who think they can get away with cheating — and is setting a sparkling example for other commissioners to follow.

Hate to pre-judge A-Rod, but …

Here’s what I’m thinking today about what likely will happen tomorrow to baseball’s latest fallen icon: Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the rest of the season and his ticket to the Hall of Fame will be canceled.


It really pains me to think this about A-Rod, a young man I used to admire for his immense baseball skill. It turns out the former Seattle Mariner/Texas Ranger/New York Yankee slugger is about to pass into history tainted with the tag of “cheater” over the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

I have heard all weekend about how Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig broke off negotiations with A-Rod because the injured superstar was trying to call all the shots. Selig would have none of it.

This suspension, if it’s for the rest of the year as most baseball observers predict, could spell the end of A-Rod’s career. He’s already angered the Yankees’ management, speaking out of school over the state of his rehab; he hasn’t played this year because of injury.

It’s also been reported over many years that A-Rod doesn’t have much support in the clubhouse. He isn’t known as a “good teammate” in the mold of, say, Mickey Mantle or Derek Jeter. So, whatever happens to Rodriguez isn’t likely to be greeted with many expressions of sorrow from his fellow Yankees.

It’s been nice watching you over the years, A-Rod. I’m afraid your day is done.

MLB needs to drop hammer some more

There once was a time when I was addicted to big-league baseball.

I’d wake every morning from April through September, get the morning paper and scan the box scores for my favorite players. My actual favorite was Mickey Mantle. I’d look to see how Mick did the night before. I’d grimace if he went 0-for-4; I was joyous when he had a good night at the plate.

Those days are gone. Free agency took care of much of it for me, as players moved from team to team when their contracts were up.

Now comes the Age of Cheating, the use of performance enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds will never be the home run king. In my book, that honorĀ belongs — still — to Henry Aaron.

When Major League Baseball suspended 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun for the rest of the season, I was delighted to see the league taking action — finally — against the cheaters. This suspension likely will preclude Braun’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

More suspensions need to follow. I heard today that Alex Rodriguez might face a lifetime ban in the case that ensnared Braun. That’s all right, too.

MLB needs to set an example. It needs to make an example of these players who have cheated their way into the record books.

I am shedding no tears today over this development. Keep dropping the hammer.