Bonds on Speed 

The New York Daily News has a scoop today that Barry Bonds failed a test last year for amphetamines and blamed it on something he got from Mark Sweeney.

That's the jist of the News report. Shitstorm to follow.

What do I think? To keep this brief and get back to my day job, I'll write a civic resolution that you can frame and hang on your wall.

IF Bonds indeed failed an amphetamine test, and;

IF the substance he took was in fact illegal, not just a cold medicine or something else that can trigger positives, and;

IF when confronted with this fact, he wilfully tried to blame Mark Sweeney, whether or not Sweeney actually gave Barry anything;

THEN the Giants should rip up the alleged $15.8 million-plus-incentives contract they're haggling over with Bonds agent and say, sorry, Barry, no más, no matter how much he helps the team by hitting home runs and drawing fans.

I believe this is the first time I've ever come down on the get-rid-of-Bonds side for non-baseball reasons. Until now, throughout the years of drama, I've always said if he's healthy enough to contribute, keep him. Pay him lots of money. He's worth it.

If this were a failed amphetamine test, period, I'd maintain that stance. Under baseball's drug-testing rules, failing it for the first time is not cause for suspension (or even public acknowledgement). Being a jerk and prima donna and thoroughly unpleasant while doing your job is not a firing offense in baseball. (Sorry, life's not fair.) Taking steroids and other nasty bits to boost his career was not a firing offense when Bonds allegedly did it. If he's indicted by the government for a myriad of suspected activities, including illegal drugs, tax evasion and perjury, he shouldn't get special treatment. But failing a drug test and blaming it on an innocent teammate? If true, he should not be part of the 2007 Giants.

I should also note reports from last year that Bonds at least once refused to pinch-hit on a day he didn't start. If true, this also is a firing offense in my book. You can hate the media, you can be a disagreeable grump, you can be a loner and prima donna, but if you refuse to help the team on the field, take a hike.

To sort out the truth from hearsay, whisper, conjecture, and media bias against Bonds, I leave you to read the news story and judge for yourself. I'm keeping an open mind. I suspect the media takes angles to cast Bonds in the worst light possible, but I also reject the common idea among Bonds apologists that he's the victim of a conspiracy. I totally agree that most sportswriters view the Bonds/McGwire/steroids/etc issue from atop a garbage heap of sanctimony that they mistake for perspective, as John of OBM frequently reminds us. This week's Hall of Fame vote is a perfect example.

No doubt this story will grow exponentially in coming days. Also, keep an eye on the unfolding story of how the Giants are trying to rewrite contracts. I believe it was first reported here -- a scoop for MLB.com, fer crissake -- and ties in with Sabean bringing an old hand back to help in the front office, reported here.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com