Are we easing up on Bonds?


Art Spander of RealClearSports currently has a piece up concerning Barry Bonds’ status amidst reports of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez using steroids. Spander feels the public is beginning to evenly spread their disgust towards all steroid users in baseball instead of just focusing on Bonds.

Bonds now is insignificant. We went after him and his silent partner, Greg Anderson, the trainer, so long ago it’s almost ancient history. Mark Fainaru-Wada and his then San Francisco Chronicle colleague Lance Williams left no syringe unturned. We acted like the sky was falling then shrugged.

What’s falling now are other names into place, the latest of those Ortiz and Manny, who in 2004 combined to help the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years. And just an aside, you think any of those self-righteous Boston fans would give back the title because like the Bonds homers they yelped about it might be tainted?

Barry Bonds has a different problem. He’s being hounded by the government on charges of perjury, the U.S. claiming he lied under oath when in December 2003 Barry said he never used the stuff.

But the guess is Barry never will come to trial. And who cares anymore. He took his grief.

He was the Lone Ranger, the one who stood alone until it seems there was no room left on the list for all players who were guilty. The line forms to the right.

For the most part, I agree with Spander. Still, I think the only reason people seem to hate Bonds less is because he’s been forced to retreat from the public eye. You never hear about his whereabouts other than when he shows up at a Giants game. And rightfully so. Spander points out that Bonds received the brunt of the blame while Sosa and McGwire received much less. Look, I don’t like any of those three guys, but the main reason Bonds was cast as the scapegoat was because he actively pursued two of baseball’s most prized records. Since Barry Bonds was so jealous, as Spander claims, he used the remainder of his career to surpass Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. While Sosa and McGwire retired, Bonds stayed in the game for the sole reason of earning the recognition he felt he deserved. That is his greatest sin. He knew the Giants weren’t going to win a championship, but but he cheated his way into the record books while he still could.

Read the rest after the jump...

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Former Cub Sandberg says Sosa doesn’t belong in Hall of Fame

Former Cubs infielder Ryne Sandberg recently said on a Chicago radio show that Sammy Sosa shouldn’t be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after the New York Times reported last week that he tested positive for PEDs in 2003.

Appearing on the “Waddle & Silvy” show on ESPN 1000, Sandberg was asked whether Sosa belongs in the Hall of Fame. “I don’t think so,” he said.

“They use the word ‘integrity’ in describing a Hall of Famer in the logo of the Hall of Fame, and I think there are gonna be quite a few players that are not going to get in,” Sandberg said. “It’s been evident with the sportswriters who vote them in, with what they’ve done with Mark McGwire getting in the 20 percent range.

“We have some other players … like [Rafael] Palmeiro coming up soon, and it’ll be up to the sportswriters to speak loud and clear about that. I don’t see any of those guys getting in.”

“I was around Sammy for about five years before I retired, and there wasn’t anything going on then,” Sandberg said. “I did admire the hard work he put in. He was one of the first guys down to the batting cage, hitting extra. I figured he was working out hard in the offseason to get bigger. It was just happening throughout the game, that even myself was blinded by what was really happening, maybe starting in the ’98 season.

“I think it’s very unfortunate. I think suspicions were there as they are with some other players. Those players are now put in a category of being tainted players with tainted stats. I think it’s obviously something that was going on in the game. Players participated in it and, as the names have come out, I think that they will be punished for that.”

Isn’t it ironic that Sosa and McGwire essentially saved baseball after the ’94 strike with their steroid-invested home run derby, yet they’ll probably both be denied of baseball’s most cherished honor because they cheated to accomplish what they did?

Sandberg didn’t say anything that we weren’t already thinking ourselves. Sosa might have been one of the hardest working players in the game when he played, but he juiced (allegedly) and therefore doesn’t deserve to be inducted into the hall. Sosa wanted to hit a bunch of home runs and inflate his power numbers, so he took PEDs and accomplished what he set out to do. But now he has to pay and part of the punishment is not having his name listed aside Willie Mays, Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle.

Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. I agree with Sandberg and while baseball didn’t have a steroid policy in place before 2003 and those tests were supposed to be anonymous, the bottom line is that Sosa cheated. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to that like baseball turned a blind eye to their steroid mess in the first place.

Selig upset with steroid leaks

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, baseball commissioner Bud Selig is upset that names from the 2003 list of players who tested positive for banned substances are being leaked to the media.

Apparently Selig and others around Major League Baseball believe that a lawyer with the U.S. Attorney’s office (either past or present) ignored a court seal in order to give Sammy Sosa’s name to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Daily News, who reported yesterday that the slugger was on the ’03 list.

I don’t blame Selig for being peeved that someone is leaking names that were supposed to be kept anonymous. After all, the only reason the player’s union agreed to the ’03 drug testing was because the players who tested positive wouldn’t be punished and because their names would never be released.

That said – give…me…a…break. If Selig wants to be upset with anything, how about he get upset with himself, the owners and the player’s union that allowed us to get to this point. He turned a blind eye to the steroid issue and now he wants to play victim. I guess he has to put on this little front about being mad about the leaks in efforts to settle down the player’s union, but he has nobody to blame but himself for this mess.

What Selig should do is go back on his word to the player’s union and release the rest of the 104 names on that 2003 list before the media does. A-Rod and Sosa’s names have already been released – how much longer until more names are announced? If Selig thinks that the media is going to stop digging, he has another thing coming. He may anger the players and the union by releasing the names, but it’s well past time for people to start taking responsibility for what has happened to the game of baseball.

Report: Sosa worked out with A-Rod’s banned trainer

According to a report by the New York Daily News, Sammy Sosa worked out with Alex Rodriguez’s trainer Angel Presinal, who was banned by MLB for his involvement in selling and distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

“He worked with him in 2001, 2002 and 2003 in the Dominican Republic,” the source said.

Because Sosa is believed to have worked with Presinal in the D.R., where steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are legal and easy to obtain, and thanks to an artfully crafted statement at the 2005 congressional steroid hearing, it is unclear whether he would be subject to a congressional perjury investigation.

Sosa, according to a report posted on The New York Times Web site yesterday, tested positive in 2003 during survey testing conducted by Major League Baseball and the Players Association to determine whether the sport needed to implement a permanent drug program. Two years later, Sosa, accompanied by a translator and a lawyer, appeared on a panel before the House Committee on Government Reform with Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Curt Schilling and Rafael Palmeiro and said he had “never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs.”

“I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything,” Sosa said during the 11-hour, March 17, 2005, hearing. “I’ve not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic.”

That sneaky bitch – Sosa said exactly the right thing not to get him into trouble. If he took steroids in the Dominican Republic and they’re legal there, then technically he didn’t break any laws in the United States or the D.R. as he said. And not all steroids are injected, so he could be bending the truth when he said he’s never had anything injected into himself or had anyone else inject him.

If writers elect this chump into the Hall of Fame then baseball as we know it should cease to exists.

Report: Sosa tested positive for banned substance in 2003

According to a report by the New York Times, Sammy Sosa is one of the baseball players who tested positive for a banned substance in 2003.

In some respects, this is hardly shocking news seeing as how many people already suspected that Sosa took banned substances during his playing career. But nothing had ever been confirmed until now.

What’s interesting is that earlier this month Sosa announced that he planned on retiring from baseball and that he would “calmly wait” for his “induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.” Looks like you’ll be waiting awhile for that, chief.

Either way, Sosa has bigger issues on his hands than whether or not he’ll be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. If this report is true and he did test positive for a banned substance, that means he lied under oath before Congress at a public hearing in 2005. He claimed that he had never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs, but the tests done in 2003 could prove otherwise.

Granted, there was no steroid policy in place in 2003, so just like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez, Sosa technically didn’t break any MLB rules. But for a league desperately trying to clean up its image, this is yet another chink in the armor for MLB.

There’s still a list out there of 104 names of players that tested positive for banned substances. The test results from 2003 were to remain anonymous and therefore MLB won’t release the names, but it should. At risk of pissing off the player’s union, baseball should just release the names, take it’s medicine and then attempt to move on. Why not? What’s the difference if Sports Illustrated or the New York Times reports whose names are on the list or MLB does it themselves?

As long as there are still 100-plus names out there of players who tested positive, then this steroid issue will forever remain the elephant in the room.

Related Posts