762. That is the number of times one of the most controversial players of all time circled the bases. With every home run trot came speculation, anger, jealousy, and spite from fans and baseball writers alike. We all know who I’m talking about, and I think it’s time I spoke on this once and for all.
Is the Baseball Hall of Fame a place of purity or a place where the best baseball players of all time are honored? This has become up for debate over the last several years with guys like Rodger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, and a very familiar name in Barry Bonds leading the “steroid era.”
The time has come again where the steroid era players will be on the ballot, and for guys like Bonds, it will be the final time his name is on the ballot. When you mention Bonds in a crowded room, I guarantee you it will split in half. One side will praise, and the other will condemn. Both sides of the coin have valid arguments, but one fact is irrefutable, you can’t mention baseball without talking about Barry Lamar Bonds.
Bonds was one of the most dangerous men in baseball and quite possibly all of sports during his time. Take, for example, his insane stat line in 2004; he reached base more times than at-bats. In 373 at-bats, Bonds had 129 hits, 232 walks, got hit by pitches nine times, and got on base six times due to an error making for 376 times on base.
Steroids or not, Bonds made for one hell of a player and created an intriguing home run watch every time he was at the plate. If you look at past inductions for the Hall of Fame, you will probably find a steroid user or two with a bust in Cooperstown. Bonds was doomed from jump street with the way he treated the media, alienating himself and making him the bad guy.
With Bonds making himself the bad guy in the media, it made for a very biased voting committee; baseball writers holding Bond’s fate in Cooperstown makes it very unlikely he reaches the 75% of the votes needed, which again begs the question, is the Hall of Fame a saint club, or a club of legendary figures in the game of baseball?
Now all of that is out of the way; it’s time for my opinion, and like my grandmother used to say, “opinions are like horse manure, they are everywhere, so you better make sure yours doesn’t get stepped on.” Even though this phrase is hysterical, there is some truth to it, so here it goes: Barry Lamar Bonds needs to be in the Hall of Fame, and until then, the game of baseball will be in the dark ages.
The 7-time NL MVP and 14-time All-Star is one of the greatest players of all time and deserves to be recognized as such. The one thing that is disappointing with Bonds is that pre-steroid speculation, Bonds was a Hall of Famer, but thanks to his ego, he had to hit towering bombs and do it in bunches. Is Bonds a bad guy? Maybe but I don’t know him personally. Is Bonds a Hall of Famer? YES, and there is no question about it.