Friday, March 2, 2012

Steroids and the MLB Draft

I've been wanting to add a Bonds jersey relic in a Pirates uniform for a long time.  The problem is that there are few to chose from and often times they fetch a lot of money.  This was on the fairly inexpensive side.  $13 shipped.  If I can just get a certified auto of this card, then I have a trifecta featuring his 1986 rookie.  That would be pretty cool.
My reason for this post though is that this 2001 Topps Rookie Reprint Barry Bonds jersey card got me thinking about two things recently.  How much the MLB Draft has changed and more obviously how much baseball has changed since drug testing.

First I'll examine the MLB Draft.
Back when Barry Bonds was selected, the NL and AL would rotate who got the top selection.  It was not mandated that the team with the worse record got 1st pick.  This means that the 1986 MLB's worse Pittsburgh Pirates would have had number 1 selection in 1987.  For those of you that don't know who went number 1 in 1987, it was future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.  How great would an outfield of Bonds, Griffey, and Van Slyke had been?  Would Griffey had been enough to get the Pirates into the World Series and possibly convince Bonds not to leave for San Fransisco?  Nobody knows.  One thing is for certain though.  The Orioles would had love to get that number 1 pick in 2010 since the Nationals had the number 1 pick in 2009 following the Rays in 2008.

I really don't want to beat a dead horse since so many other people have talked about steroid usage especially in light of Ryan Braun.  However, I will say this.  The 2012 Hall of Fame 1st Ballot election class has a lot of questionable names on it.  One of those names is the HR King Barry Bonds.  Did Bonds use steroids.  Yeah, it's safe to say he did?  Did that take anything away from him already being one of the best in the game in his early seasons?  No, he was one of the first players to get 40HR/40SB in the same season.  To the best of everyone's knowledge that was all done without any PEDs.  He was a 5 tool player in his early years in Pittsburgh before becoming the most feared batter in the majors while playing for the Giants.  I personally hope that Bonds makes it to the HOF on the first ballot.  If he doesn't, then what does the HOF stand for?  Was his career not excellence in nearly every sense of the word?  How many other HOF have 7 MVP awards, 4 of which were consecutive? The answer is none. 

Barry Bonds deserves to be a first ballot hall of famer.  If he's not, then I question the integrity of the Hall of Fame. 

Hopefully, the Pirates can start to have winning seasons again too.

1 comment:

  1. I deeply echo your sentiments on Barry (partially because he was my hero growing up, partially because of his sheer ability to be that game changer for so many years with or without the PEDs).

    However, since it is the media that votes them in, and the media that hunted him like a Salem witch, destroying his career (not the drugs), and the media that labels him and all others as "cheaters" and villians, and the media that created a much larger, overblown epidemic than what I think really existed because they felt duped by the powers that be in the head offices of MLB that didn't want their players caught, he (and the rest of his former colleagues: McGwire, Canseco, Palmiero, Clemens, the list goes on forever with a who's who of late 80s/early 90 era stars) won't get in now or probably ever. It's a sad fact that we will all have to deal with.

    I could go on and on about this but I won't, it's your blog not mine. From one Bucs fan to another, you hit the nail on the head though.