In the Cheap Seats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

March 9, 2006 - In the midst of all the controversy surrounding Barry Bonds and the newest accounts of him using steroids, Bonds was not in spring training yesterday. He was attending a court proceeding for a child custody hearing.

We are assuming that the child does not have three heads.

With all the illegal ingredients that Bonds has allegedly ingested, injected, swallowed and rubbed in, you never know.

There are in fact quite a few wrong assumptions floating around out there, and some of them have even been passed off in Associated Press stories. To set the record straight, let's look at some of the lies and distortions:

Lie No. 1 - Bonds has denied ever using steroids.

That appeared in an AP story yesterday. But, it's not true. In grand jury testimony when he was subpoenaed in the BALCO investigation, Bonds admitted he took "clear" and "cream," which are code names for two steroids, but said he did so unknowingly. That's like saying you just ate a 32-ounce steak, four baked potatoes and a loaf of bread while washing it down with three gallons of ice tea. But, you didn't know you did it. Your stomach - like Bonds' body - would tell a different story.

Lie No. 2 - Bonds didn't break any rules.

It's true that baseball didn't test for steroids until last year, which is another rant I have, but Bonds blasted a hole in the integrity of the game by cheating. There shouldn't have to be a written rule against CHEATING. Secondly, he was taking drugs that are illegal in the United States without a prescription. So, what he was doing was not only immoral but illegal. He broke rules and laws.

Lie No. 3 - Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is an honest, intelligent man.

That same preposterous assumption was lobbed up to renowned Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly on Wednesday. Reilly answered with something like, "He is?" 

Actually, Selig gets a long leash by most of the baseball writers because he was a back-slapper and baby-kisser way back in the days when he first owned the Milwaukee Brewers. Truth is, Selig is unscrupulous. Case in point: after Rafael Palmeiro joined the elite club of MLB players who had 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, Selig ran a full-page ad in USA Today congratulating him. The catch is, Selig had known for a month that Palmeiro had already tested positive for steroids. 

Selig now wants to wait three weeks until the book, "Game of Shadows" comes out which details Bonds' steroid regimen, before he even will think of examining the mountain of evidence. Instead of launching an independent investigation immediately - how about one headed by John Dowd, the Pete Rose investigator - gutless, classless Selig hopes the storm will blow over.

Instead of Kinnesaw Mountain Landis who we need as a baseball commissioner, we have slimy Bud "Light" Selig.

Lie No. 4 - Like him or not, Bonds is a Hall of Famer because of the numbers he has posted.

The home runs, hits, RBI, everything Bonds has done is tainted by his cheating. He should never be in the Hall of Fame, and neither should  McGwire,  Giambi,  Sosa, Palmeiro and the legions of other hitters who have shamed themselves and baseball by cheating with steroids.

There isn't a hitter in the modern era whose talent now doesn't fall under suspicion. For Bonds, it goes beyond suspicion. Now we have proof.

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