The dark and heavy cloud which hovers over Barry Bonds because of the steroid scandal shouldn’t stand in the way of what happened yesterday.
Tying Babe Ruth, arguably the most talked about baseball player in the history of the sport, is quite an accomplishment. 714 is a mark no one thought any modern day baseball player would reach and with one swing, Bonds catapulted himself to a new level.
I don’t know for sure if the San Francisco slugger tried any steroids, knowingly or unknowingly, but what I do know is the fact he conquered a mark despite all of the distractions.
I’ve watched Michael Jordan whisk away opponents throughout his Hall of Fame career and now witnessing Bonds’ spectacular achievement yesterday was just as exciting.
But it doesn’t stop at 714. Bonds still has 41 homers to go before he catches Hank Aaron at 755. I don’t think he’ll do it this season, but he’ll get close. I also don’t think Bonds will remain in San Francisco next season. He’ll move over to the American League where he’ll be held off the defensive side of the game and will only be relied upon in the batter’s box.
I remember a few years ago when Mark McGwire chased Roger Maris’ single season home run record of 61. It was a lot more hyped up compared to Bonds tying Ruth, and steroids is the reason why hardly anyone is excited about the feat.
But even if he did take steroids, there’s really nothing anyone can do to take away a single home run from the Giants’ slugger. After all, Bonds will eventually break Aaron’s record, with or without the hype.
• Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or email@example.com.