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Barry Bonds Should Tell The Truth about Steroids

By Yong-yi Zhu

COLUMNIST

It has been an eventful winter in baseball. A perfect pitcher moved to an almost-dynasty, a six-tool player took way too much money to go somewhere nobody really expected, and a declining Cubby turned into an Oriole. The biggest story of the winter season, though, has been that of steroids.

First and foremost on everyone’s mind is whether or not Barry Bonds took steroids. Did he do it? Did he know what he was doing? For how long did he do it?

Bonds won’t answer these questions. The media won’t stop asking them. Will we ever find out the truth? Many believe that Bonds’ leaked grand jury testimony is in fact truthful, but Bonds has been less than candid about what he has done.

Bonds is taking a completely different route than Jason Giambi did when his testimony was published. After the public found out about Giambi’s steroid use, he came out and apologized to everyone. He admitted what he had done and wanted the public to know how sorry he felt about the entire situation. He is also in the process of rebuilding better faith with the fans and with his teammates. Giambi wants to fix what he helped to break and wants to fit into an honest culture again.

Bonds, on the other hand, is taking the “I’m not going to tell you anything and I’m going make you look stupid” approach to the steroids issue. He calls the steroids questions “reruns,” because the media has talked about it so much and he insists that the media is simply trying to make a bigger story about it than it actually is.

But in making a joke of the situation, Bonds is actually making himself less credible. Why would you dance around the topic if you had nothing to hide? Bonds seems like he has a lot to hide. He has used all of his tricks in avoiding all the big questions.

For example, at one point during the press conference last week, he verbally attacked a media member, calling that person a liar. The person had stated that Stan Conte, the San Francisco Giants’ trainer, had informed him of Bonds’ plans to return in a Mar. 15 exhibition game. Bonds claimed that conversation never could have happened and just moved on to the next question.

At another point during the press conference, he claimed that all media members have lied in their stories. He said that they should clean their closets before they do digging into Bonds’.

Even though there is almost no way of ever finding out the truth, Bonds should set the record straight. Rather than dancing around the issue, he should either admit to using steroids or somehow prove that he didn’t use them.

Let’s look at his comment about the fact that baseball is hurting and that we should move on. When the media questioned what we should move on from, Bonds responded very negatively. He wanted to avoid the issue. Bonds should have come out and said something about steroids.

But take a second to think: what are we hurting from? Is it the fact that players have cheated in hitting homeruns in the past? That they have won MVPs while taking steroids?

Perhaps that is what we are hurting from: the records that we have marveled at over the course of all these years have been a fabrication and are as real as a WWE fight.

Yes, baseball is hurting, and we do need to move forward. It’s about time we legitimize the game once again. Baseball should no longer be marred by the players’ dishonesty, whether they be Bonds, Jose Canseco, or Ken Caminiti.

Heavier testing. More frequent testing. Off-season testing. These are a good start to fixing the problem.

As fans, we do want to see homeruns. Just like we didn’t want to see cork in Sammy Sosa’s bat, though, we also don’t want to see the creams and the clears in the Barry Bonds of the world.