Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.
What can I say about the two? Lets see… legends, leaders and phenomenal players?
It’s funny to even say these words because both are the two most scrutinized players for alleged steroid use over the past several years.
Reading about Bonds’ perjury trial that began on Monday and McGwire’s recent return for another season as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, these events led me to wonder whether these two people will ever belong in the MLB Hall of Fame.
I’m sure people are familiar with the two even if they do not follow baseball as much, but if not, let’s begin with a small history lesson.
The 46-year-old former San Francisco Giants All-Star, Bonds is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to a federal jury about knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
On the other hand, the man was a tremendous hitter, owning both the record for home runs in a career with 762 and a season with 73.
With this and several other accolades, does Bonds belong on the Hall of Fame?
Some say no because of the belief that steroids are the reason he was that great. Others disregard his alleged drug use and claim he is an excellent player with or without the medications taken.
While we ponder the question that has kept professional baseball world split since 2003, let us move on to discuss McGwire and his run in the big leagues.
McGwire, a former first baseman, had an incredible career, breaking the single-season home run record for rookies with 49 and going on to break Roger Maris’ single-season record by hitting 70 home runs in a single season.
Like Bonds, he faced adversary and scrutiny that came last year when the hero admitted to using steroids over his career in the league, which spanned 16 seasons.
McGwire claimed that the drugs only helped his health, but did not affect his power at the plate.
Give me a break Mr. McGwire because no one is going for that one.
Yet if you ask me, even though McGwire’s Hall of Fame support has dropped from 23.7 percent to 19.8 percent according to ESPN.
I will still vote him in and I would also give Bonds my vote on one condition, but back to McGwire for a second.
People can say all they want about McGwire, but those same people have to recognize that he had a great career.
The man admitted to using steroids, but he manned up and apologized for the pain he caused fans, family and the baseball community.
Bonds on the other hand, would only get my vote if he gave up the charade and admitted to using steroids.
A person has to be oblivious beyond repair if they are not aware to some extent of what medications they are injecting or being injected and I believe that Bonds knew all along, which is the reason his former personal trainer will not testify against him.
There have been cases in the past where athletes have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Some will get away with it and people will never know, which I am sure has happened in the past.
What I do know is what Bonds and McGwire did in their careers was unbelievable and steroids or not, their legacy will remain even if there is an asterisk attached.