Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dog Bites Man, Barry Shoots Up (and injests, rubs...)


No big surprise here, except for the scope and depth of the article.
Bonds exposed
Shadows details superstar slugger's steroid use


NEW YORK (SI.com) -- Beginning in 1998 with injections in his buttocks of Winstrol, a powerful steroid, Barry Bonds took a wide array of performance-enhancing drugs over at least five seasons in a massive doping regimen that grew more sophisticated as the years went on, according to Game of Shadows, a book written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters at the forefront of reporting on the BALCO steroid distribution scandal.

[...] The authors, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, describe in sometimes day-to-day, drug-by-drug detail how often and how deeply Bonds engaged in the persistent doping. For instance, the authors write that by 2001, when Bonds broke Mark McGwire's single-season home-run record (70) by belting 73, Bonds was using two designer steroids referred to as the Cream and the Clear, as well as insulin, human growth hormone, testosterone decanoate (a fast-acting steroid known as Mexican beans) and trenbolone, a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle.

[...] The preponderance of evidence is by far the most detailed and damning condemnation that Bonds, formerly a sleek five-tool player, built himself into a hulking, record-setting home run hitter at an advanced baseball age with a cornucopia of elaborate, illegally-administered chemicals. Through 1998, for instance, when he turned 34, Bonds averaged one home run every 16.1 at bats. Since then -- what the authors identify as the start of his doping regimen -- Bonds has hit home runs nearly twice as frequently (one every 8.5 at bats).

The authors describe how Bonds turned to steroids after the 1998 season because he was jealous of McGwire. Bonds hit 37 home runs in '98 -- a nice total and the fourth most of his career at that point -- but he was ignored by fans and the media who were captivated by McGwire's 70 home runs and his duel for the record with Sammy Sosa, who hit 66 that year.

Bonds is going to wish he retired. The treatment he receives at ball parks this year will be merciless. I cannnot imagine that even his hometown fans will restrain themselves after reading this. Good. Bonds is a complete dick, seemingly without any redeeming qualities. Others who have been caught (Giambi) have issued mea culpas, asked for understanding, or at least been stand-up or nice guys in other ways. Not Bonds. He has been a prick his whole career and taken it to new levels since this BALCO thing broke.

Frankly, after reading the article, he's lucky not to going to jail.

This is worse for Bonds than a confession, because he has been so dismissive and recalcitrant in his statements and attitude over the last few seasons, that this is not only an exposé on his doping and cheating, it just cements him as a the asshole and liar we all suspected as well.

At this point, I'm not even sure if there's a point in him chasing Aaron's record. There will (should) be more than an asterisk next to his numbers.

The best part? He's got it all coming to him...

[via Deadspin]

8 comments:

S.W. Anderson said...

Seems to me Bonds personifies what professional sports in America is all about any more: anything to win, anything to make the big score, the big name and most of all, the big bucks.

Once upon a time, most sports pretty much at all levels, were considered a means for channeling energy and competitiveness into body- and character-building strength and pride — individual, team and national.

Not that all players always measured up, but virtue was the dominant theme. Black sheep were ostracized. What people thought of those in various sports mattered.

But over time the money men moved in and took over. So, any more, it's a matter of getting people who can deliver winning plays and scores. If that means hiring musclebound thugs who are the meanest dogs from the junkyard, so be it.

If that means hiring players whose only idea of right and wrong is that anything to win is right and getting caught is the only really wrong thing they could do, so be it.

That seems to be where we are. Bonds is a poster child for the power of greed to corrupt, and for how corrupt baseball has become.

Smitty said...

I just don't understand why anyone is surprised by this.

Mr Furious said...

Oh, I'm not surprised by the news, Smitty, I'm just surprised SI came out with a killer exposé that blows Bonds out of the water. I kkind of suspected he'd get to play out the string in "unsubstantiated rumor mode."

Mr Furious said...

What Bonds personifies most to me is less a commment on sports in general and more a question of an ego out of control. We're talking about a first-ballot HOFer widely recognized as one of the all-time greats and he started this shit simply because he was jealous of the attention McGwire got.

That's it. It wasn't about money pressure to perform or anything else. And to feed that ego, Bonds tarnished his own reputation and legacy, and will now be lucky to make it in.

Otherwise, I agree with what you're saying, S.W.A. With one exception. It's less about winning and more about money. Teams want attendence, and players want stats, and ultimately, contracts. Money first, winning and everything else second.

Smitty said...

I totally agree with your points here. That's why even Selig isn't that tough-on-roids....roid-raged ball players hit home runs, and home runs are all that excite people. It is all about money.

By my comment, earlier this morning on CNN and ESPN, each of the mouth-breathing anchors (all 26 of them...ever notice how the morning news shows have like 30 people as some form or another of "anchor?") were all going on about how much of a SHOCKER this is....at forst I thought they were being snide. But no. They were shocked.

Smitty said...

I totally agree with your points here. That's why even Selig isn't that tough-on-roids....roid-raged ball players hit home runs, and home runs are all that excite people. It is all about money.

By my comment, earlier this morning on CNN and ESPN, each of the mouth-breathing anchors (all 26 of them...ever notice how the morning news shows have like 30 people as some form or another of "anchor?") were all going on about how much of a SHOCKER this is....at forst I thought they were being snide. But no. They were shocked.

S.W. Anderson said...

"Otherwise, I agree with what you're saying, S.W.A. With one exception. It's less about winning and more about money."

Right, Mr. F, but what gets TV network contracts, commercials, testimonial deals, product tie-ins, sells box seats, season tickets, etc.? People get excited and pass the plastic for winning teams and standout players.

As for also rans and strugglers, not so much.

I don't doubt your observation about Bonds' ego and jealousy are dead on. But I think it's also true he got the idea it would be OK to turn himself into a living chemistry experiment because the baseball environment values home-run kings who get that way by whatever means they choose more than good, solid players who stay clean.

Anonymous said...

Frank Deford addresses this in his weekly NPR gig--you can listen from npr.org. He slams him.

Yo' Sista'