Someone in the federal government leaked grand jury testimony from the BALCO trial to the San Francisco Chronicle, confirming as fact what was formerly just suspicion. Barry Bonds was using a steroid cream during the 2003 season (if not earlier), and now professional sports and society are headed straight to hell, at least the portion that wasn't already headed there after the Pacers-Pistons brawl. Broken-hearted children will have to look elsewhere for heroes, perhaps to the NFL, a league that's conquered the steroid menace.
I think that many of Barry's accomplishments are still pretty amazing, even though he was on the juice. It's just that they're now amazing in the way that somersault slam dunks off a trampoline are amazing. Or a guy fighting off six cops while on PCP. On one hand, sure, he's on PCP, but on the other, that's still six cops.
While history will forever downgrade Barry's offensive prowess of the past four years, no one can deny that he's the most effective steroid user of all time. Consider the other BALCO defendants. Garry Sheffield had excellent seasons in 2003 and 2004, but he suffered a series of nagging injuries and came nowhere near Bonds's performance. Jeremy Giambi has been in four organizations in two years, and spent all of last season in the minor leagues. Jason Giambi hit .200, got cancer, and was infected with debilitating parasites. Armando Rios and Bobby Estalella are out of professional baseball. Benito Santiago plays for the Kansas City Royals, which is basically the same thing. Bonds won an MVP award every year. Give the man credit - that is some serious steroid performance.
Now that he's been outed as a steroid cheat and a liar, baseball fans are going to hate Barry. Everyone pretty much did already, especially reporters, but now it's open season. Even I kind of hate Barry now, and I love Barry. Barry is the best player on my favorite team, so I'm biased in his favor, but I'm also a guy who called Mark McGwire "Captain Andro" for the last three years of his career. He's going to be booed in every stadium in the league next year, even the few he wasn't booed in last year. There's no chance he'll win over the public, so he might as well play up his unpopularity like a wrestling villain. Here are some ways Barry could piss off the fans even more:
Grow a full beard, like an evil alternate dimension Star Trek crew member.
New walkup music: Motley Crϋe's "Dr. Feelgood" or the Imperial March from Star Wars.
Expand the elbow guard so that it covers all but 15% of his arm.
Go beyond standing in the batter's box to admire home runs. Carry a small digital camera and take a picture of the ball in flight before slowly circling the bases.
Push for the return of Sonny Jackson as third base coach.
Admit to providing a five year old Darren Baker with "the clear" and "the cream".
Move the recliner into the dugout and sit in it between innings.
Change back to his old uniform number, Willie Mays's retired #24. Ask, "When was it the team retired Willie's number? After he won his seventh MVP award, or after he hit his 700th home run? Help me out, I can't remember."
Make a large and public show of support for beleaguered team mascot Lou Seal.
Wear the same dirty helmet all season. In June, stop changing socks. After the All-Star Break, don't wash uniform pants or jock strap.
Punch first baseman J.T. Snow in the face, for no good reason at all.
In a live interview, tell Mike Krukow that he doesn't know a goddamn thing about a kangaroo court, and he never will. Then add, "Put the microphone down, meat."
Marry Mia Hamm.
Put together a new promotional "Say Hey" campaign for the upcoming season. "I didn't commit perjur-ay! Say hey!"
Begin referring to own bowel movements as "splash hits".
After every intentional walk, behead a live chicken and hang it on the right field wall.
Release documents revealing that, in addition to putting Jason Giambi in contact with Greg Anderson, Barry masterminded Giambi's wussy deodorant ad campaign.
Win the World Series.