“He’s done it!” “He’s finally done it!” Even if you haven’t been watching ESPN lately, you probably have heard that Barry Bonds finally broke Hank Aaron’s home run record with 760.But now that all the pomp and circumstance is over, we now enter the real debate: Will an asterisk be put next to his name in the record books? Not to say that I want an asterisk next to his name, but let’s be honest.
It probably will be, if the older baseball clubs have anything to say about it. Some baseball purists feel that there should be some type of mark to indicate that he had a “little help” in the form of performance-enhancing drugs, while others feel that there should be no asterisk because it may scar his legacy as an amazing baseball player.
However, if we take a step back to examine the players who are on this list, you find the name of the Hall of Famer Babe Ruth. For those of you who did not know, “The Babe” is now third on the list just behind Bonds and Aaron.
Lately there has been a huge battle cry from fans – Bonds fans mainly – who feel that there should be an asterisk next to Ruth’s name because he broke the record when Blacks weren’t allowed to play in the majors. (Which didn’t happen until 1948, 13 years after Ruth retired.)
Even with specifics such as this, a second argument could be made that in an era of steroids in Major League Baseball, does it really matter whether he did or did not take steroids?
I mean WE ARE talking about professional sports where “doping” is pretty common, but rarely ever talked about.
So does an asterisk really need to be by his name, or are professional sports trying to send a signal to athletes by making Bonds an example because it’s becoming a bigger problem? In my eyes, the Barry Bonds saga is a made-for-TV movie for athletes about what could happen if you are caught “doping”.
But when you put it into perspective, steroids really do not factor into whether you hit or miss the ball when you take a swing.
Last time I checked, hitting the ball was attributed to the player having a very good sense of hand-eye coordination, which, if I am not mistaken, is a basic body function that all humans possess.
So where do steroids come in? The only reasonable explanation I could come up with would be the weight of his body, mostly gained by steroids, that is transferred to the bat that might give him a harder swing.
But honestly, if Mark McGwire had broken the home run record, would we really be talking about this? My guess is probably not.