Spring is here, which means that those who check BetUs for baseball lines are starting among sports betting players, but the actual MLB season will have a shadow looming over it all season. The perjury trial of Barry Bonds starts today as prosecutors attempt to prove that the home run king lied to a grand jury, and the question remains: what is Bonds’ legacy in the game, and does it even matter?
These accusations surrounding Bonds are from six years ago, and a lot has changed in that time. “The Steroid Era” is looked at as a dark time in baseball, but no one, particularly commissioner Bud Selig, was complaining when the home run race between St. Louis’ Mark McGwire and Chicago’s Sammy Sosa boosted sagging rating in baseball back in 1998. It should also be noted that Bonds had one of his best seasons in 1998, smashing 37 homers with 122 RBIs, posting a .303 average along with 28 stolen bases and a Gold Glove in the outfield, but does anyone remember that? No, they remember the seasons that McGwire and Sosa had as they chased and surpassed Roger Maris’ record. Anyone looking for a reason as to why Bonds started to allegedly take steroids only has to look at the attention that McGwire and Sosa received during that time.
It took McGwire years to begrudgingly admit that he used steroids, although he says that he didn’t do it to aid his strength, but to recover from injuries faster. Sosa still hasn’t admitted it, although like Bonds, all you have to do is look at their physiques and see what was going on. Bonds shouldn’t have lied to the grand jury six years ago, and he probably shouldn’t have done so, but regardless of whether he did or not, his legacy was going to take a hit, much bigger than McGwire, Sosa, or any other player involved with the steroid era. One of the prevailing theories is that Bonds has never been known to be friendly with most of the media, so they kept bringing it up until something happened. Some think that is just Bonds being paranoid, but that would be short-sighted. It’s the only reason that Bonds has been vilified and why this trial is going to be a major storyline during the upcoming season, especially in San Francisco where the discussion should be surrounding the Giants’ quest to repeat.
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