Last weekend at the bar while watching the Vikings/Packers wildcard game, my buddy Mark told the story of how he once spoke with a San Francisco Giants scout about Barry Bonds. The scout, who had been in the league for well over 50 years, said – and I quote – “Barry Bonds is the best hitter ever and it’s not even close.” I tend to agree.
My baseball acumen falls far behind my basketball and football knowledge, yet “America’s pastime” is a game I’ve always made sure I kept one foot on base with per se. Ken Griffey, Jr. is the more popular player, and probably would have been the GOAT had injuries never derailed his career. Yet, it is Bonds who dons the crown perched atop on his tainted throne for three reasons.
One, his alleged involvement with ‘roids. Two, the dude was a dickhead of epic proportions his entire career and embraced the role possibly better than any athlete ever (Kobe’s in that conversation, for the record). Third, and this one is pretty much indisputable, Bonds was a Hall of Famer long before the juice.
Cooperstown can act like scorned hoes and do whatever they please with Bonds while manipulating future induction classes from now until baseball ceases to exist. And trust and believe, they will because the system is flawed beyond belief. I could give a damn regardless. While Bonds certainly walks around with no halo hovering over his head, they’re not only screwing themselves in the process, but adding another strike as to why the MLB lags behind the NFL and NBA as the twinkles in American sports eyes. Steroids or not, Barry Bonds is a living legend and arguably a top three player in the game’s history.
At least there’s a song in his honor. Let’s see baseball put an asterisk beside that.
Kanye West Ft. Lil Wayne – “Barry Bonds”