This Blog is a political blog. It will venture also into economics and history, as how can a political blog not?
But as it is MY blog, I can write what I want. And this post is about Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and steroids and his punishment. And about Barry Bonds. And Babe Ruth. So, a sports blog? No, a blog about justice, in sports.
So, it is probably fair that A-Rod be suspended from play for lying under oath and for using illegal performance enhancing stuff. So, fine, punish the dude. But what is NOT fine and NOT just is the unequal distribution of justice which lets the biggest abuser of steroids in the history of the game get off scot-free and keep his cursed records, without asterisks no less. I am talking, of course, about Barry Bonds, slugger extraordinaire.
I will not here argue whether Bonds did use steroids and what laws he may or may not have broken; I will only assert – without proof, and without fear of being wrong – that there is not a baseball fan alive in these United States who does not KNOW that Bonds took huge amounts of steroids to get his …ummm … changed physique and his home run records*.
But, for the sake of this rant, I will give the dude his ill-begotten records and compare him anyhow with Babe Ruth, whose performances were not HELPED by the prodigious amounts of alcohol that he consumed. Nor was his physique – chicken legs and a barrel chest – enhanced by any foreign substances; the Babe looked more like a beer hall regular than a baseball player.
Here goes: Barry Bonds (on steroids) vs. the Bambino (clean, sort of).
Barry Bonds produced 53 more Runs, 62 more Hits, and 48 more Home Runs than the Babe! But he did so by playing in 483 more Games and having 1448 more At Bats than Ruth. Those 483 more Games and 1448 more At Bats represent about three extra years of play. 53 more Runs in three years! 62 more Hits in three years! 48 more Home Runs in three years! Hah! The Babe accumulated 217 more RBIs in three years LESS play!!! The Babe had a lifetime OBP (on-base percentage) of .474 vs. Bonds’ .444. 30 points!!! The Babe had a lifetime slugging percentage of .690 vs. Bonds’ .607. 83 points!!! The Babe had a lifetime Batting Average of .342 vs. Bonds’ .298. 44 points!!! The Babe hit over 50 Home Runs in FOUR separate years, Bonds hit over 50 Home Runs only once, in his big doodah year.
The Babe accounted for 10% or more of his entire League’s Home Runs for a half-dozen separate years. In Bonds’ best year, 2001, when he hit 73 Home Runs, he accounted for 2.5% of his League’s Home Runs! The Babe led his League in Home Runs 12 (twelve) times; Bonds led his League in Home Runs 2 times, twice!
Oh, did I forget, the Babe was also a star pitcher? But who’s counting?
Barry Bonds on steroids vs. the Babe on a hangover! Barry Bonds on steroids does not deserve to be in the same Baseball Hall of Fame with Babe Ruth! It’s a damn shame we will never know how great a ball player Bonds might have been if he had played straight. But he didn’t.
But before I leave this post, ... If anyone in the last thirty years truly deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, certainly it is Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle. Who else in the modern era would have played major league baseball for free? I know the arguments against letting him in. OK, fine. Now get a life! And while we are at it, let in Shoeless Joe Jackson, too. Gambling – my patootie!
Write the Commissioner of Baseball. Damn me, write the President, your Senator and your Congressman!