Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nor Is He Out Of It

Something surprised me today. I found myself sorry for Barry Bonds.

This isn't something I thought would happen anytime soon. The man is arrogant, to the point where you could legitimately call him cruel. He's unquestionably a cheat, and he has tainted two of the most significant records in Major League baseball by taking illegal steroids in order to inflate his home run totals. Not only has he not shown remorse for this, he continues to refuse to admit it, even in the face of a perjury investigation and a mountain of evidence of his own guilt.

And then I caught myself thinking, "But whether he admits it or not, he'll always know."

I thought about what that must be like. To have finally gotten so furious at the cheaters and juicers that you decided to join them, to have the most prestigious records in the history of the sport as a result...and to know that they're not really yours. To have to know, every time you hit a home run, that it's not your natural skill and talent, that it's not something you can be proud of the same way you were proud of your home runs before you started juicing, to have caged yourself so thoroughly in lies that your triumphs have turned to ashes in your mouth and be trapped by that knowledge...

Barry Bonds will always know he cheated. I'd hate to have to live with that. And yeah, I do feel sorry for him, having to live with that. I still don't like him, but I can pity him, even if I suspect he doesn't want that.


Anonymous said...

Try being INNOCENT...
And still having everyone saying "ehh, everyone knows he did it."

Aaron Walther said...

I just watched the South Park episode about this today.

Anonymous said...

I'd feel worse if it weren't 100% self-inflicted.

I DO think it's a shame that there are so many athletes using, and that Bonds is being singled out for breaking the record. I can feel sorry for the situation, but not, in this case, for the man.

It's not like he did this to feed his family or save a child's life. It's not like the man was hurting financially or otherwise and HAD to do this to get by. Maybe that's why I am so unsympathetic.

Or, as anonymous implies, maybe I'm being a jerk and he's innocent. I really, really doubt it, but I suppose all things are possible.

Really, Bonds is (insofar as his obstinance) like Pete Rose. Had either simply fessed up, they'd be a lot better off. Digging in his heels will only make things worse for him.

Take it and run.

John Seavey said...

After reading 'Game of Shadows', it's very difficult for me to believe that Barry Bonds is innocent. Yes, there's the slim chance that the authors of 'Game of Shadows' made it all up, but (as many others have pointed out), if they were out-and-out lying, wouldn't Bonds have sued them for libel?

As things stand, Bonds' testimony to the grand jury is that he didn't know what he was taking, that he thought it was flaxseed oil, and that he never knowingly took steroids. Coincidentally, the FBI found emails on his hard drive from Victor Conte, head of BALCO, telling him, "If you go before a grand jury, you can tell them it was flaxseed oil, you can tell them you didn't know what you were taking, you can say you never knowingly took steroids..."

The odds that Bonds did not take steroids are somewhere between none and nil.