If you aren’t already sick of the steroids issue, or more specifically Barry Bonds, you should be. The two have been paired together for nearly the entire off-season and have been in the news since 2001, the year Bonds broke Mark McGwire’s home run record. They have been talked about in the sports and non-sports world alike ad nauseam. It is because of this that the issue should be dropped, at least talking about Barry Bonds.

Feeding an already enlarged ego with so much press, not to mention a new self-serving show on ESPN, is absurd. Baseball season is upon us and there are 30 teams and hundreds of players going for the World Series and personal records, respectively.

Things have gotten so ridiculous that Bonds has his own personal correspondent from ESPN. You can look at it from both sides. Either you are giving an obscene amount of coverage to a guy who cheated in obtaining his records or you are giving an obscene amount of coverage to a guy who hasn’t played a full season since 2004. Either way seem rather unnecessary.

Whether you think Bonds used steroids or not is a different issue altogether. My personal view is that it’s impossible for a guy who is 35 years old to gain 40 pounds of muscle without some sort of help.

He went from a 40 steals player to a 73 home run player during the downside of his career. Bonds was always a home run threat, hitting 33 in 1990 and 46 in his first season with San Francisco in 1993. However, the leap between 40 home run seasons to 70-plus home runs is a large one and cannot be contributed to daily gym trips and eating right.

Bonds was an MVP player, winning two with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990 and 1992 and another with the Giants in 1993. He was a Hall of Famer in the works and a year in and year out all-star. However, according to a new book, “Game of Shadows,” highlighting the alleged steroid use of Bonds, Barry wanted more than that. According to the book, Bonds wanted the publicity McGwire and Sammy Sosa got during their chase for Roger Maris’ home run record in 1998. It was then that Bonds first started using legally-banned substances within the U.S.

Barry got more than he bargained for after that smooth move. Never known for his kindness to reporters, the home run belting Bonds got tons of press. Now, Bonds is well known for his snaps and swears directed at writers, as well as his condescending view to the game. Bonds is not a member of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and the only one who is not due to choice. His apathy towards the media should be enough to stop coverage.

Bonds has also been in the headlines for his racism for such comments as the one made to former big league player Ron Little, who was trying to get Bonds’ autograph to auction for cancer research. “I don’t sign for white people,” Bonds said. There is also evidence that Bonds scammed the IRS with the sale of his personal memorabilia, not reporting the money and instead using the money to support his mistress. A player who makes racist remarks is not a professional athlete to be emulated, and as such should be kept out of the limelight and away from impressionable kids.

Why is a guy, who is, for lack of a better word, a jerk, given such tremendous airtime? Why is someone like Bonds, where all the evidence points to steroid use, given his own show to present himself in a better light? Why does ESPN.com have a link that allows you to calculate when or if Bonds will break Babe Ruth’s home run mark or Hank Aaron’s record?

The season has started and there are much better baseball topics to talk about than Barry Bonds and his alleged steroid use, his racism and his condescending view to the game, other players and reporters. Hopefully after the printing of this article there will be no more Bonds press, good, bad or neutral.

Goff can be reached at sgoff@campustimes.org.



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