Originally posted on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 8/8/12

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 16: Leftfielder Barry Bonds #25 of the San Francisco Giants poses for a photo on March 16, 2004 in Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

I saw this topic as I was breezing through the various Sports websites and I found it interesting.   Interesting because the last time the Pirates were relevant this late in the season, Barry was patrolling left field for the Bucs.   According to Barry, during a recent interview, he believes he deserves to be in the hall of Fame.
This piece is from an ESPN.com article found HERE.

Whether baseball's tarnished home run king is a Hall of Famer won't be determined for months, but in Barry Bonds' mind, he belongs in Cooperstown.

"Oh, without a doubt. There's not a doubt in my mind," Bonds said in a recent interview with MLB.com at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

His numbers say yes without issue. Very few players have ever put up numbers that rival his. The Problem with Barry though is simple, were his numbers tainted with his alleged PED use?   How could anyone deny he was a great player.  He had skill, speed, and power that so many tried to emulate. He never really had to cheat, but we all think he did.  It is extremely rare that an athlete gets that much better with advanced age as he did.  It's just not natural to do that.  Some players I could see have extended strong  play during later stages in their careers, but he had years of ridiculous play.  To say he was excessively successful at an age that does not produce success like that, would be putting it mildly.

So to me, here is the question. Does the work he did before the alleged use put him in the hall of fame, or do you throw it all out with the wash and say he cheated and that's that?   Good question I think.  The facts are this. We only have some idea who cheated and who did not. Some proof, but our eyes really could see the truth.  Analysts like ESPN's Buster Olney say you put these guys in and when they put the Bio's on the plaques, explain how they are tied with the "steroid era".  I think that is fair.   Pete Rose bet on baseball as a manager. Before becoming a manager, he became the all time hit leader and was one of the best hitters the game has ever seen. But his shenanigans as a coach, betting on baseball, has given him a lifetime ban on the game.

Let's face it, there are a lot of jag offs in the Hall of Fame.   In all Halls of Fame.  Cheaters, thieves, adulterer's, womanizers, sexual predators...etc.  Is there proof on all of this, some, but the odds tell us that there are players with sordid pasts in the Hall of Fame, as there are in life.   Some of the most successful business people in the world, you or I would probably never associate with because they are miserable human beings. That said, when you are honored with an invitation to the Hall Of Fame, it is for your play on the field. At least in most cases.  And because of that, all the great players of the Steroid Era should go in.  But with full explanations on how they played a part in this Era of baseball.

So, does Barry belong in the Hall of Fame?  Yes, he does.  But with him, goes all the notes and the crap that he did that tied him with one of the biggest scandals in Baseball history.  If we honor him for his on field performance, then the cream and the clear should also be mentioned. It's only fair.

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at pittsburghsportsmonger.com.
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