Barry Bonds finally tied Hank Aaron’s home run record, and soon he will break that record and hit number 756. We all have our opinions about whether this record was attained honestly or not, but I think it’s safe to say that the court of public opinion has already convicted Bonds of steroid use. This isn’t meant to be a defense of Barry Bonds. I think he cheated. Most of us think he cheated. My problem is with how MLB commissioner Bud Selig has handled this whole difficult situation. Selig also believes Bonds took steroids, but he’s the only one who’s not being honest about it. He released a statement after the game congratulating Bonds on 755, and saying that a representative would be at the next few games, adding this: “all citizens in this country are innocent until proven guilty.” Uh huh.
If the commissioner of baseball really believed that, he would have stood up and at least politely clapped when Bonds tied the record. I understand the inclination not to applaud, or even to boo Barry because of what we think he did. We are fans of the game, not representatives of the game. Bud Selig represents the game. He doesn’t have that luxury. I get that Selig and Hank Aaron are best friends. But if he’s going to attend the game, he has to do more than just show up. Nobody expects huge official MLB banners or anything similar to it. I’m not suggesting that baseball should throw a big party for Bonds, but the record needs to be respected even if the man is not. MLB didn’t care enough to deal with the steroid issue when it could have made a difference, so it should share some responsibility for both the positive and negative effects of allowing steroids to infect the game of baseball.
It would also be helpful if Selig would quit complaining about how tough following Barry around is. It’s a joke, and a bad joke. What exactly does he do all day that he can’t be bothered to attend a few baseball games? Please. Suck it up, Mr. Commish. Stop being petty. Thank you.