Claiming inspiration from Dick Young’s demand that Mets fans boo the fuck out of Doc Gooden in his first game back from cocaine rehab in 1987, the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch encourages patrons attending tonight’s Giants/Mets tilt at Shea to deal with Barry Bonds harshly.
We should speak with one voice and cast our vote on Bonds: Stand up and boo the man who wants to turn baseball into the WWE.Boo him because he wasn’t satisfied with the 500 or so home runs he would’ve hit by now, had he not started juicing in 1999.
Because his pre-steroids achievements — three Most Valuable Player awards, eight Gold Gloves, one home run title, eight All-Star appearances — just weren’t good enough.
Because he was so jealous of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa after their historic pursuit of Roger Maris in 1998, he told friends that winter he was going for the record — no matter what it took.
Boo Bonds because anyone who thinks steroids doesn’t make for a superior athlete either doesn’t understand baseball, or else doesn’t care what he or she is watching. To this unenlightened subgroup, we bid thee farewell — off to the next pro wrestling match. That’s where you belong.
Klapisch makes an excellent point, and I certainly hope MLB will consider adding an asterix to all the records broken by Jeremy Giambi and Ryan Franklin under the influence of performance enhancing drugs.
Newsday’s Ken Davidoff has the singular pleasure of chatting with Bonds’ former teammate, Bobby Bonilla, a man who if memory serves me correctly, once offered to take Mr. Klapisch on a guided tour of the Bronx.
Asked if he thinks Bonds used performance-enhancing substances, Bonilla said, “I take him at his word. He’s a very good friend of mine. I haven’t read anything. I didn’t read the grand jury testimony. But didn’t he say that he took ‘The Cream’ unknowingly? I believe that. I have no reason not to believe that.”
Bonilla cited an old argument diminishing the importance of steroids. “It almost seems to me that from a media standpoint, everyone forgot how difficult it is to hit a baseball,” he said. “They’re acting like, ‘Gee, just run to the drugstore, and you’re all set.'”
But, it was argued to Bonilla, Bonds could always hit a baseball, even in his earlier, thinner years. Steroids could help him hit a baseball better.
“I don’t have the full story, but if you can tell me one player that [didn’t gain weight throughout his career], I can’t recall one,” he said. “It almost seems like he should be what he was at when he was with Pittsburgh, and the man’s  years old. I’m a little confused. ‘Look how much bigger he got from Pittsburgh!’ It’s almost like it’s a shock.”