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June 5, 2005

Where's Barry?

by Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
Once long, long ago, Barry Bonds was the single most feared hitter in baseball. In 2001, when he was already 37, he smashed 73 home runs and had an absurd .864 slugging percentage. But, now, after a deluge of controversy concerning his grand jury testimony during the BALCO trial, he is only a shell of his former self.

Bonds hasn't played since the end of the 2004 season. He had surgery to drain fluids from his right knee on Jan. 31, 2005, and was expected to be back by Opening Day, but a series of setbacks has kept him on the sidelines, calling into doubt whether he'll play this year, and even whether or not he'll play ever again. Back in spring training after his second operation, he was reported to have said, "…the media have finally brought me and my family down…" and suggested that he might not play for the rest of the season.

Bonds sits third on the all-time home run list with 703, behind only Babe Ruth's 714 and Hank Aaron's 755. It's no secret that most people, myself included, don't want Barry Bonds to pass Hank Aaron's mark. The fact is that stats immortalize players, especially in baseball, where history is such an integral part of the game. I don't want to see Bonds get to 714, much less 755.

Bonds was an idol for me. He epitomized what anyone dedicated enough to beat the slow ennui of death could do. How many people did he inspire or simply make happier by jacking balls out into McCovey Cove? How many people looked to Barry Bonds and said, "If he can do what he's doing at 38 or 39, then why can't I do something great too?"

Too bad the only reason Bonds could do what he did is probably because he was juiced up on steroids.

Besides, Barry Bonds is not the man that Bud Selig wants to break the record. Bonds has a longstanding reputation of being surly and moody, and outside of those who love the Giants, he doesn't have that much fan support.

Even his own team has been reduced to watching his website - BarryBonds.com - for updates on his condition. Also, his doctor - Arthur J. Ting - was put on probation in April 2004 for five years after allowing aides to write prescriptions and provide treatment as if they were licensed physicians.

As recently as two years ago, people were pulling for Barry Bonds and his quest to become the home run champ. Now, there's no one. Bonds claims that the media finally brought him down.

No, Barry. You did that all by yourself.



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  • Dumb Democrats= (View Email) on June 5, 2005 at 9:40 PM
    Nice article. Sad. Touching.
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