Saturday, December 11, 2004

This is your sport on drugs
Everyone is atwitter about the news that Barry Bonds has been implicated in baseball's steroid scandal, as well as the Yankees' Jason Giambi. I don't know quite why, but I find it impossible to get exercised about this sordid little drama. Anyone with a photo archive from 2003 to 2004 should have known that Giambi had stopped juicing after years on the sauce, because he looked like a plastic balloon that had been popped. Now his career is basically over and the Yankees are justifiably stuck with his crippling contract.

As for Bonds, I suppose I should get all sanctimonious and condemn him and whine about how I can never trust the sport again, but the truth is that baseball has survived bigger galoots than Barry Bonds, even if he does break Hank Aaron's home run record. I never thought there was any other rational explanation for Bonds' career trajectory, which was Hall of Fame-worthy until 2000, when he went on an inhuman tear, posting numbers that would be hard to believe if you were putting them up on the Playstation. Bonds has surely discredited himself, in the eyes of the fans and the history books, and it's all his fault, because he was a wonderful player even without the little green pills. Now he's a wonderful player with a huge asterisk.

I wouldn't be surprised if this scandal implicated 20-30 other current stars. If so, good riddance, but no amount of cheating can stop me from yearning for the day when pitchers and catchers report in February.


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