just procrastinating

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bonds, Steriods
Interesting article by Matt Welch here in Reason. I agree with most of his article, but I take exception with this part of his defense of Barry Bonds:
The United States government has sent the impressionable Youth of America an unmistakable signal: Do not, under any circumstances, break any sporting records after adding 18 pounds of muscle at age 36.

If you do, Uncle Sam will use the awesome powers at his disposal—grand jury inquisitions, illegal leaks, even the State of the Union address—to humiliate you in public and pressure your union to accept year-round random urine testing, even if you will never be charged with breaking a single law.

In 2001, the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds, one of the five best players ever to wear a baseball uniform (he has won an unprecedented seven Most Valuable Player awards, including the National League's last four), broke Mark McGwire's single-season home run record, with 73, far surpassing his own previous high of 49. Unluckily for him, he did so in a media market inhabited by an ex-jock IRS agent who didn't appreciate Bonds' famously surly attitude.

"That Bonds. He's a great athlete," Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky told California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement agent Iran White three or four years ago, according to White's account, as reported in a remarkable May 2004 Playboy article. "You think he's on steroids?" When White reckoned that Bonds was, Novitzky reportedly answered: "He's such an asshole to the press... I'd sure like to prove it."

Remember, kids: Don't be an asshole to the media!
I think that Bonds is reaping what he sowed in this case. Barry Bonds made himself a target by being an asshole. You don't see the feds breathing down Sammy Sosa's neck, even thought it's likely that he was doing something similar. And the difference is that Sammy Sosa is a great guy--as far as I know anyway.

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