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To * or not to *

by Craig Edwards

kgw.com

Posted on August 9, 2007 at 7:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:41 PM

By Craig Edwards

It's over. Barry Bonds now stands alone on top of baseball's home run mountain. Career homer # 756 went into the right field stands at AT&T Park Tuesday night, pushing Bonds past the great Hank Aaron.

To say that Bonds' quest has been controversial would be like saying the Pacific Ocean has a little bit of water in it. Though he has never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, the cloud of suspicion has been hanging over the slugger for years.

Was Barry's march to history enhanced by steroids and other drugs?...... Probably. We're all innocent until proven guilty, but the circumstantial evidence against him is too overwhelming.

That being said, should Barry's records get the little asterisk (*) next to them, or be expunged completely?..... Probably not.

I'm no advocate of cheating, but Bonds is just the product of his era. Baseball is a constantly changing game, with rules and conditions ever evolving. The two major leagues even play under different sets of rules now, thanks to the designated hitter rule.

Babe Ruth played his entire career against only white players, because African-Americans weren't allowed in the major leagues. That doesn't get noted in the record books.

The asterisk placed next to Roger Maris' 61 home runs for years was ripped by critics for years before it got removed. They didn't believe that playing 8 games more in a season (than Babe Ruth) should have been part of the conversation.

Steroid use is just the latest era. Based just on the guys who've gotten busted, Bonds is not alone in the case of steroids in baseball. In fact, the pitcher who served up home run #755 had been previously suspended for steroid use. Bonds is simply the most well known of the group and now owns the game's most honored record. Until the sport's leadership can completely eliminate steroids from the game, his records should stand.

Besides, as history has shown, somebody will come along and break them any way.

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