Barry Bonds: Hall of Fame Written Off

Arguably one of the most controversial names in baseball’s time, with the title of most home runs hit by any baseball player, Barry Bonds had the magnitude to become a first-ballot inductee into the Hall of Fame. However, with all the success and statistics he contributed in his career- he is arguably known as a player caught with multiple doping substances. From his time with the San Francisco Giants in 2001 to 2006, Barry Bonds used a vast amount of doping substances to enhance his baseball abilities.

Although having the shadow of his steroid regimen in his career, Barry Bonds was still allowed to maintain his title of the most home runs hit in a season. Many other baseball players have tainted their name by using performance enhancement drugs and other issues, such as Pete Rose. The former Cincinnati Reds manager was exiled from baseball when convicted of gambling against his own team and other games. To penalize him, Major League Baseball Association evoked a lifetime ban from the game on Pete Rose- ensuring that he would no longer be able to work for Major League Baseball or be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Let’s compare both players. Pete Rose was convicted of gambling in many baseball games, including betting against his own team he was managing- the Cincinnati Reds. Pete Rose’s gambling addiction in other sports was a rumor among the baseball circle, but the allegation of Rose betting on baseball hit the surface in early 1989. The gambling claims came to light as former Major League Baseball Commissioner Angelo Barlett Giamatti revealed testimonies of Pete Rose gambling on baseball and even his own team. Until his self-published novel, My Prison Without Bars, Pete Rose denied any gambling accusations- thus accepting the lifetime ban as the answer to the no-contest plea.

Meanwhile, Barry Bonds was cheating the system while shattering home runs. The issue regarding Barry Bonds was over his use of supplements questioned in 2003, yet he was still allowed to continue to play baseball until his retirement in 2007. Bonds blamed MLB for tainting his career with the allegations of steroid use as MLB never suspended him for a positive test; however, a published report from 2006 answers the question that Bonds indeed tested positive.

While one player who used steroids was allowed to keep all his stats and maintain a spotlight in this game, another player was punished to a lifetime sentence. Both players tainted their name in this sport; however, why should one be allowed to stay and another banished? Have your opinions all you want, but Barry Bonds is a part of the steroid era history in the MLB. Bonds greed for pursuing higher averages and achieving the impossible cost him his chance in the Hall of Fame, as did Pete Rose. The debate of any player who has tested positive with doping substances frankly embarrasses this sport and themselves as they lack the confidence to improve better without these regimens. Although Barry Bonds did not pay for his actions during his career, his consequences now are his ineligibility to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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