Friday, December 03, 2004

Barry, Jason & The Juice

Only a fool didn’t think Barry Bonds had sampled “the juice” at some point in recent years. Now, it’s come to light that he did, but claims he didn’t know it contained a banned substance. Hmmm… Barry skipped biochem class at ASU.

The issue my wife posed to me—knowing I am a devout Barry Fan—is does it change the way I think of him? The answer is a definite, “I don’t know.” Bonds is NOT Giambi. The differences include:

%He is beloved in his hometown, San Francisco, and part of the team’s past and current legacy via Willie and Bobby Bonds. Giambi does not look right in pinstripes—never has, never will. He’s an Oakland A for life; had the A’s ownership not been so stupid as to not grant Jason the guaranteed contract he deserved, he’d be on the verge of getting fired by the A's, not the Yankees.

%Bonds is headed for the Hall of Fame, steroids or no steroids. Giambi is headed for Japan or the Mexican League. I do think Bonds will have to sit out next season, forcing him to think about retirement.

%Bonds is African American and Giambi is a surfer dude. Think the race card won’t come up here? Ha, I say.

As for me, I am clouded by being a witness to Barry’s heroics in 2000 when the team made the playoffs and provided me a diversion while my wife battled cancer. I am touched by the scene in the Red Carpet Room in SF when Bonds politely signed autographs and stood for pictures while his family patiently waited.

I guess I will be forgiving of Bonds. He will have to pay, however. I am thinking he'll get a one-year suspension at which point he'll simply walk away and tell The Game-- "Screw you." Ultimately, though, he risked his own health and put himself in jeopardy of shortening his life and time with his family. Bonds still suffers from the loss of his father; he must know how his kids would feel in the same situation.