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Enemy of the City: Why I hope Barry Bonds breaks his leg before he breaks Hank Aaron's home run record
The Dodgers just finished a three-game series in San Francisco against their upstate rivals. There was a sense of expectation over the whole thing, as Barry Bonds is at 751 career home runs, only four away from tying Hank Aaron's all-time record (755) and the boys in Blue managed to stop him from adding to that total over the weekend -- Bonds was 0-11 against LA. But I'm personally hoping Bonds, who is in the midst of an ugly hitless streak and hasn't homered since July 3, gets on the IR (Injured Reserve) List before he gets to the top of the HR List.
Bonds, besides being one of the surliest, unfriendliest (yes, I made up a word) dudes in the game, is also for all intents and purposes a confirmed steroid user. Everyone knows he did it. San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada wrote in 2004 about Bonds' testimony to a grand jury, in which he claimed that he didn't know that he was using steroids. Uh, sure. Among the 1000 documents Williams and Fainaru-Wada saw were schedules, tests, affidavits from BALCO investigators and grand jury testimony.
Their book, Game of Shadows, charges that Bonds used the following substances: The cream and the clear, two alleged designer steroids distributed by BALCO; Human growth hormone; insulin, which reportedly enhances the bodybuilding effects of growth hormone; Testosterone decanoate; Trenbolone, a steroid typically used in livestock; Stanozolol; Clomid, a drug normally prescribed for infertility used to mask the effects of steroid use; Deca-Durabolin; and Norbolethone.
I can't even pronounce half those things. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball has never caught Barry using and so they can't suspend him or erase his stats. In fact, the league (along with the NBA and NFL) doesn't even test for HGH because the only test available would involve drawing blood.
I have a friend who defends steroids use, saying it should be legal and regulated. That's all well and good, but steroids are NOT legal and using them is still considered cheating. You might even defend Bonds by saying that everybody is doing it and he's just a target because he's been so successful. That may be true, too, but it doesn't make Bonds innocent -- it just means the other guys also need to get turned in.
So now he's about the break the biggest record in baseball, the one held by Hank Aarons (he has said he will not attend any celebration of the record-breaking home run), who was a frickin' VEGETARIAN. Am I crazy for not wanting a big fat cheater breaking a record that was such a struggle for Aaron, who dealt with racist threats and other challenges while he chased Babe Ruth's record?
The only thing standing in Bonds' way is an injury -- a really serious one that will leave him unable to play baseball ever again. It hasn't happened yet and I'm not wishing it on him, or encouraging any of you to inflict it on him, but I will be really, really happy if he does happen to break his leg and never play ball again. Or every pitcher in baseball could simultaneously come to an unspoken agreement to never throw a hittable pitch to him again. That would work. And it would have to start today with the first of a four-game series with my Cubs.