“It’s called talent. I just have it. I can’t explain it. You either have it or you don’t.” -Barry Bonds
It normally happens in a bar. Some unsuspecting guy tries to casually start a conversation with me. Somehow the conversation turns to baseball, and somehow I say that I’m a San Francisco Giants fan. And every time, they say, “So, what do you think of Barry Bonds?” And every time I reply, “I think that he holds the record for most home runs. Ever. I think that instead of investigating individual players, someone should be investigating Major League Baseball because they’ve known all along about steroid use; they basically endorse it. It wasn’t until the strike in the ’90′s when baseball was losing money, and they started the home run derby. And what came of that? Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, and Jose Canseco shot out of no where to become ‘home run kings’. And where are they now? Their careers took a serious plunge. Steroids can’t make you a great baseball player. You either are, or you aren’t. And Barry Bonds is one of the best.” And that’s just the short version.
As a lifelong Giants fan, I grew up watching Barry Bonds hit one after another out of the park. I remember those summer nights long ago when the entire park would explode every time that he came up to bat. I remember the many rubber chickens that we would put up every time that he would be walked. I remember the FEAR of the other team. I was there the night that we dedicated the left field wall to him after he set the home run record. And while he may not have been every fan’s favorite Giant, they are liars if they say that they did not scream with unending happiness every time that he hit one out of the park. It is sad that people who once chanted his name when he was winning them games, turned their backs on him so quickly. But my motto is once a Giant, always a Giant. And he is ours, forever and always.
So, once I saw the spectacular documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” (http://www.hulu.com/watch/337490/bigger-stronger-faster), I felt even more solid in my defense of Barry. Because once you blame one person for using a “performance enhancing drug”, what separates the next person? As the documentary unfolds, it shows that “performance enhancing drugs” exist in all arenas from the baseball field to the orchestra pit. And if steroids really made a difference or were an indication of talent, then people would be a lot more excited about Manny Ramirez and his new “shiny” half a million dollar deal with the Oakland A’s…or maybe not.