Just recently, Barry Bonds spoke regarding the topic of Alex Rodriguez’s approaching milestone: 661 homeruns. After just six more homeruns, Alex Rodriguez will have passed Willie Mays and homered the fourth most times of any MLB player.
However, as much as this milestone may seem to be of great significance, the resounding calls around the league and around the baseball fan-base contradict what outsiders looking in would expect as a result of Rodriguez’s prior run-ins with steroid use and the media. The Yankees organization itself has gone so far as to almost turn a shoulder to the whole prospect of Alex Rodrigues breaking a record. The organization is opting not to honor this upcoming milestone in its team notes, and they will not pay Rodriguez a $6 million bonus for surpassing this milestone which was promised to him in his 2007 contract. At Yankee Stadium, homerun number 661 will just be another homerun.
There has been little backlash against the Yankees organization for its actions in concern to Rodriguez passing what would usually be a much-celebrated event. One of the few people to react poorly to the situation at hand is former Giants left field, Barry Bonds. Among some of Bond’s many different statements, here are a few:
Barry Bonds sounds quite confident in the fact that Alex Rodriguez’s milestone should be celebrated. What a coincidence, right? Who was the last player to break such a prestigious milestone as the one we are talking about now? That’s right: Barry Bonds – homerun number 756, surpassing Hank Aaron.
Because Mays and Bonds share a close relationship (they are godfather and godson), one could argue that his comments were unbiased. After all, it seems improbable that he would defend Rodriguez at the expense of a man whom he sees as a father figure. However, all legitimacy that his words might have is thrown out the window because of his past transgressions. In defending Rodriguez, Bonds is defending himself, and it’s painfully obvious.
Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez have more or less been traveling along the same road for the past few years. Both players have taken steroids; both players have lied about their use of such drugs; and unfortunately, due to these drugs both players have broken prominent records.
It is right and proactive that the baseball community continues to scoff at those who have used performance enhancing drugs in the past. If the community accepts Rodriguez’s milestone, then what will deter future players from using illegal substances to better themselves? To continue the league’s efforts in ridding the players’ usage of PEDs, it is necessary for players such as Rodriguez to suffer the necessary consequences.
It is only expected for Barry Bonds to defend Alex Rodriguez’s legacy because, as he defends Rodriguez, he is, in essence, defending himself. Consequently, Bonds’ comments should be disregarded, and the baseball community should continue to hold such indecencies in very low standing. However, there was one quote from Bonds that can be respected as long as a qualifier is added to the end, “If you want to prove something, prove how much you love playing baseball. Show them how much you enjoy playing the game -” legally.