August 6, 2007, - 11:49 am
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
. . . No-one cares that he hit 755 Homers while on steroids. Well, almost no-one. Yes, there were a few fans holding up asterisk signs in the the stadium in San Diego and Bud Selig, while gracing Bonds with his presence, then tried to send a mixed message by not clapping.
But, really most people, frankly, don’t care. They care more about home run races and records, not the substances someone was on when he achieved them.
Sorry, but the steroids hysteria isn’t. It’s a media-created story. And even President Bush mentioning it in his State of the Union Address–where it really didn’t belong–won’t change that.
There are a lot of things that were different in the days of “Hank” Henry Aaron. They didn’t have the nutrition coaches, the fitness consultants, the vitamins. Some fields were set farther back. They drank, smoke, and caroused all night (much more than they do now). All of these things–not just the lack of use of steroids (which some say some baseball players used even back then and before)–made it much harder to “hit one out of the ballpark.” Although, some might even say that the added muscle mass from steroids negatively affects a players’ swing, making hits harder.
Things are different now. But one thing isn’t:
Baseball fans don’t care that Barry Bonds is on steroids. They only care about #755 and, soon, #756.
Yup, steroids is cheating. And illegal. But it’s only one more thing that makes Bonds’ accomplishment different from the days of Aaron.
And no-one noticed. They don’t care if the “juice” you’re on isn’t Florida Orange Juice.
My friend, USA Today sports columnist (and boxing connoisseur extraordinaire) has a different take:
“Thanks to Bonds, 755 Doesn’t Mean What it Used To.”
Oh, and BTW, Ty Cobb was a drunk when imbibing alcohol was illegal. Not that it helped his game or anything. But no asterisks there.
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**** UPDATE: Reader Ari writes:
Bonds may have been on steroids, but many many players back in Aaron’s time were on “greenies” according to Jim Bouton. Greenies, of course were amphetimines. I don’t know if Aaron took them, but they were VERY common, and they were performance enhancing.
Tags: Barry Bonds, Barry Bonds There, baseball, boxing, Bud Selig, Bush, Debbie Schlussel, even President, Florida Orange Juice, Hank Aaron, Henry Aaron, Jim Bouton, King, media-created story, Racial Divide, San Diego, sports columnist, USA Today