Monday, March 13, 2006


Well, that's out of the way, finally.

Now that Barry Bonds has hit his first home run of 2006, we here at O&B (all three of us: me, myself, and I) were wondering if people think that Bonds is currently on steroids.

Past juicing we'll gloss over, and assume that he was doing it for some length of time.

How 'bout now?

It'd be tantamount to an award for All-Time Stupidity if he was, I'm sure we'll all admit. And being that "stupid" has never been an adjective applied to Bonds in any print media I can remember, I'd like to put forward the assumption that he isn't currently juicing.

So, what happens if he hits another, say, 45 home runs this year?

Would we all assume, then, that he continued to use steroids in the face of drug testing? If he is tested and passes, would we assume that whatever steroid he was using is undetectable?

Lemme know what you think.


Ed said...

It's an interesting question.

I would guess most people would assume that due to current MLB testing and his recent BALCO related experiences, he would be clean now.

I suppose it is possible he is either arrogant enough to be taking "something" or so psychologically dependent on "help" that he is taking "something", currently undetectable, one step ahead of The Man.

45 HR is not 73 HR. Sadly, unless he hits at least 73 HR's again there will be those people who attribute all of his past success to steroids and will never give him one bit of credit for his performances.

I personally wouldn't doubt that a clean and healthy Bonds could hit 45 HR this year.

Daniel said...

Hey Ed,

I would hope a number like 45 is enough -- even though Hammerin' Hank hold the record, he only had one year above 40 home runs. Compared to his host of 20-something home run seasons, that one could be viewed as an anomaly.

Personally, I think Bonds' 73 should be viewed the same. It's not indicative of what he does year to year, but just shows what he's capable of if he's locked in over the course of a season. But still, it's an anomaly.

However, it's the anomaly that makes it easy for people to believe he took steroids.

Were he to hit 73 again, I think it'd just make people think he's still on steroids. 45 is a number I think everyone knows he's capable of, steroids or not. It's a "safer" number, in a sense.

Ed said...

I don't think its the anomaly of 73 that makes it easy for people to believe he took steroids. I think it is the mountain of circumstantial evidence that makes it easy for people to believe he knowingly took steroids.

I was on a jury once, the defendent was accused of burglary. One fellow juror could not vote guilty because there was no one who actually saw the crime committed. There was a mountain of circumstantial evidence, but this one juror kept saying "...yeah, but no one actually saw him do can we be sure he is the one who did it?"

My point is, some people will give Barry the benefit of the doubt no matter what, up to the point he himself admits something. Others will weigh Barry's denial against any other evidence and make up their mind accordingly.

Daniel said...

True enough, Ed, but I think it's kind of a chicken-or-the-egg's probably impossible to tell with any degree of certainty.

The anomaly of 73 isn't just the anomaly -- that number seems super-human, especially with the only other guy to get to 70 is also a suspected juicer in Mark McGwire. Seemingly super-human feats are what sparks the steroid talk. Blame Ben Johnson.

You could have the circumstantial evidence, but I don't think the hunt began in earnest until he hit 73 -- his other home runs totals are totals than plenty of other players did every year.

I remember the reactions to both McGwire's and Bonds' biggest home runs years...

"C'mon, 70 (73)? Man, he's GOTTA be on steroids!"

It's the magnitude of the home run records added with the circumstantial evidence that has done this to Bonds (and did some of the same to McGwire). It isn't that there hasn't been enough circumstantial evidence until now, but it's the 73 home runs that makes it so easy for people to buy into the circumstantial evidence. It seems something nobody could achieve without some sort of help.

For comparison's sake, remember the hubbub when Brady Anderson hit 50 homers? The man had done nothing anywhere close to that in his career, ever, and I remember a bunch of whispers of steroids directly afterward, all started because of that weird, astonishing spike.

I think we're both right, essentially. But you make a damned good argument. Thanks for stopping by.