Barry Bonds opinions: a sampler
Home run 756 was inevitable, so our colleagues nationwide had plenty of time to fix their opinions about Barry Bonds. Here is a little bit of what they wrote, with links to their complete stories.
Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated
In the endless discussion of all things Bonds -- his personality, his moral code, his legal affairs, his hat size -- the one inarguable fact about the man seems to have become an afterthought: Bonds is an incredible hitter, an absolute virtuoso in the batter's box. If there is to be an asterisk next to his name in the record books, perhaps it should be for that.
* He was a hell of a ballplayer, steroids or not.
John Donovan, Sports Illustrated
At best, Bonds has made a lot of stupid, arrogant choices, associated himself with exactly the wrong type of people, played stupid when it served him best -- c'mon, Barry, flaxseed oil? -- and shown no regret for any of his actions. At best, as comedian Chris Rock told Bob Costas recently, Bonds has pulled a fast one.
At worst, Bonds has blatantly worked around and above the game's current drug policy and ignored the spirit and intent of baseball's rules against performance-enhancing drugs when they weren't enforceable. At worst, he took the drugs even though he knew he shouldn't, tried to hide that fact and cheated his way to this record.
Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle
Bonds' legacy is still up in the air. The free world will forever be divided along the love-Barry/hate-Barry line. To many, Bonds' achievement is like a bad movie, "Honey, I Shrunk the Home Run Record."
But to Bonds' fans, including seemingly every last person in the packed house at the Giants' ballpark Tuesday night, the new record is the real deal.
Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
How many superstars, in any sport, could break such a hallowed mark and not receive even one major endorsement during the chase? The pursuit should’ve been worth millions, not scorn. A soft drink commercial, a snack food, a car.
Stephen A. Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer
The commissioner of Major League Baseball may indeed be a good man, but who cares right now? Today, (Bud) Selig, who was not there last night when Bonds broke the record, looks like a weak man devoid of any leadership ability, too caught up in protecting his personal interest and using the interest of the game as his personal shield.
Mike Downey, Chicago Tribune
The man is a 14-time All-Star, a seven-time National League MVP and an eight-time Gold Glove winner in the field. Whichever asterisks need be placed behind his numbers and name, this is a highly decorated athlete who many a time has been granted the considerable respect of both the public and his peers.
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
For Hank Aaron, that's 755 home runs, and one save. Bless him. Baseball did not deserve his grace. On this night, Aaron saved the game he loved. Never has an athlete served as a better role model than Aaron did Tuesday, 32 years into retirement. He acted selflessly, with dignity and nobility, demonstrating to the commissioner and to all the world one can put aside personal feelings for the greater good.
It might not rub off on Bud Selig, but it rubbed off on Barry Bonds.
Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times
The problem with disregarding Bonds is that he rarely inspires dispassion. During his pursuit of Hank Aaron's record, which ended Tuesday night, I kept getting the same question.
What do you think about Bonds?
Here's my answer.