Barry Bonds is about to break one of the most coveted records in all of sports. As Bonds’ career home run count increases, so does conjecturing as to whether Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame. Hank Aaron said he will not be at the game in which Bonds hits his 756th home run, and Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has not announced if he will be present. The integrity of baseball is at an all-time low.
It is ironic that what is now drawing jeers and criticism from fans is what brought the fans back to the ballpark after the 232-day strike in 1994 that resulted in cancellation of the Word Series. Baseball returned, but many fans did not. It took the long ball (and steroids) to bring attendance and revenue back.
Major League Baseball’s stance on drug use has changed drastically in recent years. Prior to 2003, players didn’t have to worry about drug testing. Steroid accusations that once fell on deaf ears have now made their way into Congressional hearings. Now, at the risk of losing fans again, sport-wide standards are a must to restore credibility.
Barry Bonds has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs but his legacy is likely to never recover from the controversy. As in the ongoing metal-versus-wood bat debate in New York, regulation consistency is needed in sports today to reinstate integrity. I hope in the near future baseball returns to its original form; that fans return to baseball to see the sport free of steroids and records without controversy.
What do you think -- should Barry Bonds have a spot in the Hall of Fame?