Of course Bonds is juiced, right? Of course he's cheated on his wife and on his taxes. Of course the game-and the whole damn planet-would be better off with him behind bars. But even assuming he did what countless other major leaguers did-indulge in performance-enhancing drugs-here's a little incentive to help you re-think your Bonds Bias:
2. Major League Baseball turned a blind eye to its ever-expanding stars. As long as the fans were happy and television deals rolled in, no one in power acted to stop the steroid binge. Now, with fans whipped into a frenzy and Congress smelling a photo op, Barry Bonds is the perfect patsy.
3. Like it or not, Bonds played on an even playing field. If steroids have indeed tainted baseball for the past decade or so, by definition, Barry has faced innumerable pitchers powered by juice. This hasn't stopped him from rewriting the record books.
4. Steroids or not, as Zirin explains above, Bonds is by far the best hitter of his era. For example, no one else who has been publicly linked to performance-enhancing drugs has hit over 600 home runs (never mind 721 and counting) during the so-called steroid era...not Jason Giambi, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmiero, Gary Sheffield, Jose Canseco, Pudge Rodriguez, etc. On whatever even playing field you choose, Bonds stands well above the crowd.
Since Bonds is the player so many love to hate, he's guilty till proven innocent in the court of public opinion. I say that even if we eventually do learn that Barry was not afraid of needles, he shouldn't take the fall for baseball's folly and he should ultimately be judged within the context of the era in which he played...and utterly dominated.
Mickey Z. is the author of several books, most recently 50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know (Disinformation Books). He can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.