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Hot Button Results

So, we’re so far away from our Hot Button survey that you probably forgot that you filled the thing out. I’m including the rest of the results without much commentary — so please feel free to comment away:

* * *

Statement: Instant replay will make baseball a better game.

Strongly agree. The umpires’ blown calls are a joke and are killing he game. 17.7%

Agree. I’m sure there will be some glitches but overall the game will improve. 57.7%

Neutral. 6.5%

Disagree. The current missed calls are annoying but new system will be worse. 14.3%

Strongly disagree. Replay has no place in baseball. 3.8%


Agree: 74.4%
Disagree: 18.1%
Neutral: 6.5%

I don’t particularly like the WAY baseball seems to be thinking about instant replay — not a fan of the challenge system — but as I (and countless others) wrote years ago, instant replay itself was inevitable, the only real questions were how it would happen and when. You cannot sustain a sport by consistently making calls that everyone can see are wrong.

I’m writing a post on trying to combine umpires judgment with Pitch FX technology to get a better strike zone. I think that’s probably the next inevitability and will happen over the next five to 10 years.

* * *

Question: Should top college athletes get paid?

Absolutely yes. The system in place now is wrong, unfair and unsustainable. 20.6%

Yes. I know there are complications but the best athletes deserve part of the enormous revenues: 33.4%

Neutral. 7.8%

No. If you pay some athletes you have to pay them all, and it’s not feasible. 23.4%

Absolutely no. They get scholarships now and college athletics should be for amateurs. 14.8%

Yes: 54%
No: 38.2%
Neutral: 7.8%

This was really a sloppily formed question — the topic is too complicated to reduce to a simple yes or no answer. But I did give you a place to make comments — and there were almost a thousand of them.

Here are a few:

“Gut the NCAA. It’s a sham.”

“They should absolutely not get paid by colleges. That’s a bad way to go. On the other hand it’s a free country, and if Nike, for instance, wants them to endorse a product, they should absolutely be able to get paid big, fat stacks of cash.”

“College and athletics should be divorced. Only intramural sports on campus. Professional spots should fund their own developmental leagues. Communities should encourage self-funded sports clubs.”

“Some form of compensation — besides a free education — needs to be considered.”

“I think college boosters should be permitted to pay some or all players at their discretion.”

“No. That’s what pro sports are for. If they want to be paid, don’t mix it up with college.”

“All players should receive something. It doesn’t have to be equal.”

* * *

Statement: Sports media spend too much time doing negative stories.

Strongly agree. I watch sports for enjoyment. I’m sick of all the negativity. 7.8%

Agree. I realize negative stories are part of sports, but media cover that side too much. 25.9%

Neutral. 30.7%

Disagree. I think the media is about as negative as the news, no more no less. 30.6%

Strongly disagree. I don’t think the media does enough illuminating the negative side of sports. 5%


Agree: 33,7%
Disagree: 35.6%
Neutral: 30.7%

This was OBVIOUSLY a terrible question since 30.7% of you didn’t even care enough to take a side. Looking back, I’m not even entirely sure what I was going for. I think I was wondering what people want from their sports coverage. Do we see sports as a fun and emotional escape from the tragedies and conflicts and madness that so often overwhelm the front page, or do we want our sports coverage to mirror the way we cover the news, so that we are reading and hearing and talking about Aaron Hernandez as well as about how the Chiefs will try to slow down Peyton Manning.

This question didn’t really ask that, I admit.

* * *

Statement: Advanced statistics have increased my enjoyment of baseball.

100% yes. I feel like stats like FIP and WAR get me much closer to the game: 53.7%

Yes. I don’t follow all of them, but Moneyball was interesting and helped me see the game anew: 34.7%

Neutral. 3.2%

No. I’m sure they have their place, but advanced stats don’t speak to me as a fan: 6.9%

No way. I’m sick of having these stats jammed down my throat. Leave me alone. 1.5%

Agree: 88.4%
Disagree: 8.4%
Neutral: 3.2%

Well, this makes sense — I doubt there are many people reading this site (or taking my surveys), who are rabidly opposed to advanced baseball statistics.

* * *

Statement: Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame.

Agree 100%. Bonds is one of the best players ever, and that’s what really matters: 37.6%

Agree. I think Bonds took PEDs but he’s still deserving of the Hall. 34.3%

Neutral: 6.8%

Disagree. Bonds cheated when he took steroids and I don’t think his greatness is authentic. 12.6%

Wildly disagree. Barry Bonds has no place in the Hall of Fame, now or ever. 8.7%

Agree: 71.9%
Disagree: 21.3%
Neutral: 6.8%

Funny, no matter how may different ways I word the question, Bonds’ support always comes up JUST SHORT of 75%. And if he’s just short of 75% among this readership — which I sense is a bit more open-ended on the steroid and Hall of Fame question — what chance does he have of getting 75% among BBWAA voters?

I have to say that this point, I really don’t have a good feel for what comes next. My feeling a year ago was that Bonds and Clemens would fall short of induction at first but, in a relatively short period of time would get voted in. But I don’t really see much bend. And here’s the thing: There will be a series of candidates in the next few years — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Ken Griffey, John Smoltz, — who, rightly or wrongly, are widely viewed as definite non-steroid users. That’s already seven people going in over the next five years or so.

And I can’t help but wonder, more and more, if those are the ONLY players who will get elected, leaving behind all the borderline candidates, all the players who definitely used steroids and all the players who are suspected by some of using. I guess we’ll see.

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42 Responses to Hot Button Results

  1. Nick says:

    Regarding your lines about Bonds: I think the real losers are the Bagwells and Piazzas of the world. Yes, Bonds may deserve inducting despite steroid use, but to me it’s understandable that people would leave him off the ballot.

    But for Bagwell or Piazza, we’ve never seen a link, or testimony or any of that. It’s just because they hit really well, that’s it. Very saddening.

    • Cathead says:

      The real losers are clean players who never made an MLB roster because there were all kinds of players — good and borderline — who cheated to get on, or stay on, or come back from injury sooner. The real losers are kids in high school who ruined their health with PED’s because they felt they had to cheat to compete or get to the next level. And, yes, there are losers among clean MLB regulars whose career stats would have looked much better during the steroid era were it not for having to be compared to Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc.

    • After initially being suspicious about Piazza and Bagwell… And truth be told, I still am suspicious…. But the evidence against them consists of “they got really big during a time when a lot of guys were using”. It was completely around how they looked, or relationships they had with other guys who were users. Boy, are we going to really keep them out of the HOF based on how they looked and guilt by association…. And loose associations in a lot of cases.

      I’d like to see something a little harder than that. At least someone with direct knowledge who can offer some detail on their usage. Lots of guys have positive tests, tie ins to doping scandals, or direct accusations from someone close to them. Without those, it’s pure speculation. I don’t need to apply innocent until proven guilty, but I need something more substantial than what anyone has on Bagwell and Piazza. If voters want to hang loose for a while to see if anything comes out, that’s OK. But after they’ve been on the ballot for five years, that’s ten years since they retired. If something was going to come out, it would certainly have come out by then.

  2. The obligatory typo: “And if he’s just short of 75% among this readership — which I sense is a bit more open-ended ” s/b open-minded.

    From 1988-1998 Bonds had an OPS+ of 173 while averaging more than 30 steals and more than 30 homers each year and winning 8 gold gloves. This is before he started juicing. In that run he’d led the NL in OPS, OPS+, and walks four years in a row, IBB seven times in a row, and won three MVPs. He showed a normal career peak for someone of his talents, and in 1998 was starting to show a normal decline at age 34. This is one of the very best league adjusted peaks in baseball history.* It was obvious from his size, speed, and physique that he was not yet juicing. In 1998 Bonds finished third in OPS in the NL behind a juicer and a guy hitting in Colorado, and just ahead of the MVP, another juicer. Whether Bonds started juicing in 1999 or 2000 (stats and memory and testimony make it hard to be certain) should not obscure the fact that the 185 pound whippet was a HOF’er before steroids.

    Willie May, in his remarkable prime, had a 12 year run with two MVPs, OPS+ of 167, averaged several more homers a year, several fewer steals a year, and had 9 gold gloves. I’m not saying Bonds was as good as Mays; Mays played center field all that time and had a better arm. But OPS+ adjusts for parks and leagues, and Bonds had a higher pre-juicing peak OPS+. And that is Willie Mays, who was so good a player that even though he was a Giant I couldn’t hate him.

    I have several issues about Barry Bonds:

    1) It was not against the rules of baseball to use steroids most of the time he was using.

    2) It was never against the rules of baseball in the same sense that gambling is, i.e. a lifetime ban.

    3) Other steroid users are still active in baseball. Mark McGwire is coaching.

    4) Bonds had (and has) a clear cut HOF case as an outfielder before juicing turned him into one of the best of all time. He was a great fielding great base stealing left fielder who got on base and hit with power. Then he turned into Babe Ruth.

    5) Maybe not everybody was doing it, but when he started the two best players in the NL by MVP votes were doing it. Bonds started juicing to stay competitive with other cheaters.

    6) Bonds is a jerk. He probably was a jerk before juicing.

    7) Unlike almost every discussion we’ll have about HOF’ers, Bonds clearly raises the average at his position and deserves consideration for starting on everybody’s best team ever. Pedro might (that gets into peaks versus careers). ARod might. But ARod juiced his entire career, as far as we can tell.

    8) There are many clear cut deserving HOFers on the crowded ballot, and the number will only continue to grow. If we never elect or ban some of the juicers, it means many other deserving players can’t get in because of votes going to even better but juicing players who are not being elected.

    I want HOFers in the HOF. So I say break the logjam and elect Barry Bonds.

    • cass says:

      You’re preaching to the choir. A vast majority of us agree with you. But a vast majority isn’t enough to get someone into the HoF.

      Barry Bonds is the best position player of all time or at least near the top of the conversation. Did he use illegal drugs? Sure.Did those drugs enhance his performance? Probably. Did Hank Aaron use illegal drugs that probably enhanced his performance? Of course. Both have admitted to it*. There’s no gray area here. Either both should be in or neither should be in.

      So far, I haven’t heard anyone from the 30% calling for Hank Aaron to be removed from the hall. That tells me they are brain-dead hypocrites who don’t deserve a vote. This is not a judgement call. Either both should be in or both should be out. That’s fact.

      • invitro says:

        “Either both should be in or both should be out. That’s fact.”

        No, that is opinion.

      • Anon21 says:

        I don’t know. I used to take this “If Aaron, then Bonds” line, but the only firm admission by Aaron is that he used a stimulant once, didn’t like it, and never used it again. Given that there’s not really any other evidence that I’m aware of, I can certainly see a strong case for a distinction between him and Bonds, even though I personally believe that Bonds is one of the most deserving candidates to ever appear on a Hall of Fame ballot and should have been voted in with 100% last year.

    • John says:

      Ok, I’d vote for Barry Bonds too (he’s the best everyday player of the last few decades, even without the steroids), but I can’t let all of these things go unchallenged.

      1. Honestly, I think this is irrelevant. It was against the law, and more importantly, it provided an unfair advantage. Yes, the same can be said about amphetamines, though there’s certainly some debate about who much those help. Again, I’d vote for most of the steroids guys with Hall of Fame numbers. I’m just explaining what I think the actual voters are thinking when they don’t.

      2. I’m unaware of anyone facing a lifetime ban due to steroids, so your argument is neither here nor there. Pete Rose isn’t in the Hall of Fame because he’s ineligible, not because the writers won’t vote for him. Now, maybe the writers wouldn’t vote for him anyway (in fact, I suspect that enough–more than 25 percent–wouldn’t, given what we’ve seen with the steroids guys). But we can’t say for sure until he actually shows up on a ballot.

      3. This undermines your previous point. As you yourself say, McGwire is coaching. Therefore, there is no lifetime ban. Also, Bonds and others are eligible for the Hall of Fame. The writers have just chosen not to vote for them. I disagree with the writers, but nobody is being forcibly excluded by MLB like Rose, even though PED use has more of a direct impact on the players’ numbers than Rose’s gambling as a manager.

      4. Not sure what your point is here. I agree that Bonds was a Hall of Famer before 1999. But the fact that he turned into Babe Ruth in his late 30s actually *really* hurts his case, as there is no legitimate way he could have done that. I’m not saying he couldn’t have put up very good numbers the way Mays and Aaron did in their late 30s. I am saying that he couldn’t have had several of the best seasons in baseball history at that age. Using steroids is the only possible explanation. For voters who refuse to vote for a steroids guy, this is actually pretty damning.

      5. This is among the most disingenuous arguments I’ve ever seen. So because some players are doing it, it’s OK for everyone to do it? Even more galling, you’re acting like Bonds was a journeyman who was in danger of losing his job to guys who were cheating. It is at least understandable why players in that situation might resort to PEDs out of desperation. Bonds was still one of the best players in baseball in 1998, so the only reason he did it was to boost his numbers and get more acclaim.

      6. This is meaningless. If you really think the reason writers aren’t voting for Bonds is because he’s a jerk, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s not like other “nicer” PED users are getting in.

      7. What is your point? I’m not aware of anyone who is arguing that Bonds wasn’t a great player, with or without the steroids. A lot of writers think that cheaters should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame, no exceptions. Again, I disagree with them. But we have to live in the real world, and that’s what they think.

      8. Ok, I agree with you on this one. The logjam is hurting basically everyone on the ballot except (presumably) for historically great players like Maddux who basically everyone thinks earned their numbers and other accomplishments clean.

    • Good reply. I don’t agree Bonds should be in the HOF though. One correction, steroids WERE against the rules during Bonds entire career, a fact Fay Vincent pointed out to teams in 1991. Obviously it was a shallow rule with no testing or defined punishment, but it was against the rules, and more importantly it was against the law.

      • Anon21 says:

        “more importantly it was against the law.”

        Why is that more important when considering who to induct into the Baseball Hall of Fame? I would honestly think it’s less important. For a very serious crime, it would be an embarrassment to the Hall to induct a player, but for lesser crimes like possession and use of banned steroids, criminal behavior has never been thought to be a bar, or even an especially relevant consideration, for Hall deservingness.

        • If you think trafficking in illegal substances to gain a performance edge isn’t an issue that is part of the overall concern about PED users…than I don’t know what to say. Basically to get those substances illegally they had to associate with drug traffickers and criminals. I’m not proposing that we have people drawn and quartered or even jailed…. Just that they not be voted into the HOF… Both because they cheated and because they illegally conspired with criminals to get their PEDs.

          • Anon21 says:

            I can’t see how illegally conspiring with criminals to get PEDs (assuming they did indeed conspire; if they only purchased, then legally speaking they were not conspirators) is worse than Ty Cobb’s racist violence or driving while intoxicated, which many players have done at great risk to others on the road. If we aren’t going to say that those crimes exclude their perpetrators from the Hall, I don’t see how the fact that buying and using PEDs violated the law adds much of anything to the case against Bonds and other PED users.

    • My viewpoint is that Barry Bonds was a borderline hall of fame candidate prior to steroid use. If you are being generous and still considering him, consideration should stop at the point he took steroids. His inflated numbers after this point (the numbers suggest anywhere from 96 to 98) should not be the piece that pushes him into the hall of fame. Instead the use of steroids should be the factor that prevents a borderline candidate from making the grade.

      • RPMcSweeney says:

        I don’t have a strong feeling one way or another about your overall approach, but Barry Bonds doesn’t seem like a borderline HOF candidate pre’-98 or so. He was a three-time MVP by ’93, with two top-five finishes to boot (and he probably should’ve beat Pendleton in ’91). That’s a slam-dunk HOFer.

      • Anon21 says:

        This is just hilariously mistaken. Barry Bonds had nearly 100 WAR at the end of the 1998 season. If that’s a “borderline” Hall of Famer, then so are Rickey Henderson, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, and Mike Schmidt. Sayanora, Cal Ripken and everyone worse than him. I’ve heard of small Hall guys, but that’s a Hall of Fame you could fit in a broom closet.

      • Tonus says:

        Had Barry Bonds retired in 1998, he would have played thirteen seasons and ended with 411 home runs, 445 stolen bases, 1,216 RBI, 1,364 runs, 1,357 walks (289 of them intentional, which would have left him just 4 behind career leader Hank Aaron) and a slash line of .290/.411/.556 for an OPS+ of 164. For his CAREER. He would have been a three-time MVP with a valid claim that he deserved another two or three. About the only black mark on his record would have been his dismal playoff performances (a career BA of .200 with only 1 homer to that point). I’m sure some writers would have been inclined to leave him off the ballot to protest his attitude and personality, but he would have been an overwhelming first-ballot selection in my opinion.

      • Take 1996 from the early end of my steroids estimation and you have 10 years, less than 300 home runs and a WAR in the low 70s. That is a borderline candidate.

        • Anon21 says:

          72 WAR is also not a borderline candidate, unless you want to show Ken Griffey, Jr., Frank Thomas, Eddie Murray, and Derek Jeter the door. Despite your fervent desire, there is no way to slice and dice Barry Bonds’ career to make him look like other than a Hall of Famer unless you want to say he got on the juice in about 1988. Just say what you mean: you feel that PED use is disqualifying, regardless of the player’s clean accomplishments.

        • Tonus says:

          I was under the impression that he is alleged to have started using PEDs after the 1998 season. Certainly his OPS+ was not out of line in those seasons compared to previous seasons. While his counting numbers become understandably limited if you stop at 1995, you still have a player with an OPS+ of 159 in over 6,000 plate appearances, which puts him in the company of players like Stan Musial and Hank Greenberg and well above many HOFers. I will grant that a career WAR in the 70s puts him in mixed company, but if we were considering it in the context of a 10-year career it becomes much more impressive.

          I could see his case being “borderline” if he retired after 1995, but only because the BBWAA would likely discount WAR and OPS+ and therefore consider him on the numbers, which while impressive for such a short career would not stand out as much as they would at the end of 1998.

    • Ben Channing says:

      I may be wrong, but I think you are one of the people who constantly point out the need for Joe to have an editor for typos. If not, I take this back. If so, I find it quite comical that you left the “s” off of Willie Mays. I know, you are not a professional and it is not your blog, etc., but it is funny nonetheless.

      • The grammar and spelling police annoy 95% of us. While Joe probably should be more careful I don’t see the point in the constant grammar corrections. It is what it is. If you don’t like it, go to for your over wrought, but more grammatically correct, misinformation.

    • DjangoZ says:

      “It was obvious from his size, speed, and physique that he was not yet juicing.”

      This shows that you have learned very little from the “steroid” era.

      We don’t know whether he was using PEDs prior to 1999, but I’d bet plenty of money that he was.

      Looking at a photo gallery of Bonds year by year it’s pretty obvious that he started bulking up before 1999.

      But then this is just one of the many inaccuracies in your post, as has been pointed out by others.

      I have to ask: why are you so adamant about this issue and so inaccurate? One has to wonder…

      • Which hunt? says:

        Right. Juicers don’t necessarily look like juicers (Knoblach and Neagle? Really?). There is a narrative floating around about Bonds jealously watching the Sosa / McGuire juice war and injecting his rage roids the next day, but what is the evidence for it? I am conflicted re: his hall candidacy, but to say I don’t trust the unofficial timeframe and narrative is an understatement.

  3. About the funding of college athletes: I understand the idea of allowing sponsors to pay them, but that also leads to problems. Nike would pay millions to get the top guys at Oregon and adidas would do the same for schools like Notre Dame.

    I don’t really see a good solution to the problem yet.

  4. Shagster says:

    No juicers in the Hall. It is absolutely wrong. The use of steroids grossly distorted the game and other players accomplishments. The players juicing knew it was wrong, and those who did so hid it in deceit. And were handsomely compensated and celebrated for it. Why give them yet more? People that want them in the Hall can (and will) continue to romanticize these players ill gotten enhanced accomplishments outside the hall. So these players don’t have to be in to be recognized.

    We sometimes forget that we all play a small part in something bigger. People in the future will say about players, “yeah but Player J didn’t break Arods record, … didn’t break McGwire’s record … didn’t break Bonds record … didn’t break Clemens record.” Which of us will be there at that time to parse those kinds of remarks? None of us. And if they’re in the Hall, then people say “they must be legitimate”. And the idea of Maris, Aaron, Mays and the thousands who didn’t juice will die a little more. Or, maybe Player J’s young fan has the opportunity to say to his friends, “is that so? … if (Bonds, McGwire, Clemens …) is so great then why ain’t they in the Hall of Fame?”

    That is the gift we can give to the players who chose not to cheat. To those future kids. No juicers in the Hall.

    • BGA says:

      Won’t somebody think of the children?

    • Anon21 says:

      “Which of us will be there at that time to parse those kinds of remarks? None of us.”

      Actually, all of us. Literally, your particular comment that I am replying to has a good chance of being preserved for posterity, as does everything else on the Internet. Future generations will know all about our stupid debate over whether some of the best players in baseball history should or should not be recognized as such in the Hall of Fame.

  5. Matt says:

    What do you think would happen if someone like Frank Thomas or Pedro Martinez were to admit some amount of steroid or PED use, after they were admitted to the HOF? Seems like they would have a powerful platform from which they could really force the BBWAA to think about how much they don’t know about who did and did not use PEDs during the ‘steroid era’. Probably just a hypothetical, but would something like that be enough of a shock to get Bonds, Clemens, etc in?

  6. Wilbur says:

    Very good, BGA.

    Certainly, MLB is not thinking of the chilluns. Not with post 9:00pm starting times for post season baseball. What MLB IS thinking about is that ad sponsors don’t care about the kids either – they want the 21-54 demographic.

  7. Wilbur says:

    How can you pay college athletes under the current strictures of Title IX? Some citadels of higher learning may be able to afford it (paying every athlete at the school), but most would have difficulty doing so.

    If required to to do so, the logical option might be to drop every non-revenue producing sport, except maybe basketball.

    • Title IX is really something. I watch every year as a number of girls from our small high school get full ride scholarships for softball, volleyball and soccer…. While it’s very difficult for boys to do the same. I think I know of two boys that have received full rides in the last five years…. Whereas 5-6 girls get them every year. Baseball and other “minor” sports in college offer very few full scholarships. Football and basketball do offer them, but the competition is fierce and the athletic level of D1 scholarship athletes is freakish. Yes, Title IX would play into paying players because it would require schools to pay an equal number of girls. Pay 40 football players and you’ll need to pay 40 girl athletes the same too. That’s the way it works. Another reason why paying players is a long way from reality.

  8. Pat says:

    re: PitchFX and replays, just give each umpire an iPhone with the app. It doesn’t even need to run the whole pitch, just put up a red light for strikes, green light for balls, and let the umpire overrule it if he’s convinced it erroneous. But put the machine’s call up for viewers to see, too—and if an umpire keeps calling bad strikes and balls, I’m pretty sure the crowd will let him know it.

  9. Ian says:

    I think I was neutral on stats. I don’t mind them but I hate it when people don’t know the limits or faults. It’s annoying when someone says Player A won 19 games so he’s good but it’s also annoying when someone says Player B’s WAR is higher than _____, so B must be better.

    • DjangoZ says:

      Why would using a relevant stat to compare players be annoying?

      That’s like saying “I really hate it when people make poor arguments, but it’s also really annoying when people make sound arguments.”

  10. fhomess says:

    I think the question on advanced stats increasing enjoyment was worded in a leading way. There’s no room for people who are fine with advanced stats to say that they haven’t increased enjoyment. I don’t enjoy the game any more or less because of them. I enjoy the game differently, and am in favor of going deeper to understand the game, but it’s not like I didn’t already love the game before I found them.

  11. Ron says:

    Not a huge fan of advanced statistics myself but I read anyway. Still wish the “us against them” mentality would disappear.

  12. Which hunt? says:

    Easy. If they have the skills, let them go pro. Pay them. Especially football. That game is so violent on all levels that any given play could end a career or even a life. End the NCAAs cartel and prosecute the NFL for collusion.

  13. I’m in favor of the baseball rule for college. You can sign with a team to go pro out of High School. No problem. However, if you don’t get a good enough offer and/or want to go to college, you have to go for three years before going pro. This give the athlete the choice while imiting any chaos for the college coaches/teams. Nobody forces the kids to go to college, but if they sign up, they know the rules.

  14. John Leavy says:

    Even Barry Bonds’ biggest fans generally concede (sometimes reluctantly) that he’s a jerk. But his steroid use is interesting for several reasons.

    See, Barry Bonds always claimed to hate being bothered by fans and the media.He regularly told autograph seekers to, er, have intercourse with themselves, and almost always treated reporters with disdain.

    Now, if we wanted to give Barry the benefit of the doubt, we could say, “Well, maybe he’s just an introvert. Maybe he’s just uncomfortable with strangers. Maybe he was just a lunchpail kind of guy who wanted nothing more than to do his job (which he did superbly) and go home. Maybe he just wanted to be left alone.”

    BUT… what happened when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa started getting 24/7 media attention? Bonds went berserk and started using steroids, so that HE could get the constant media and fan attention he always insisted he didn’t want!!!

    Compare Bonds to Eddie Murray a second. Eddie Murray really was a guy who just wanted to play ball and be left alone. He never said ANYTHING to the media, so after a while, reporters just stopped asking him questions- and that was just the way Murray wanted it.

    Bonds was different. A true introvert would have been DELIGHTED that all the fans and reporters were flocking to McGwire and Sosa and leaving him in peaceful solitude. But Bonds wasn’t happy at all. He was furious that the fans he hated weren’t asking for his autograph and the reporters he hated weren’t asking him for interviews!

    What can we conclude, then? Merely this: Barry Bonds didn’t tell autograph seekers to f– off because he wanted to be left alone. He did it because he LIKED cursing at them. He didn’t set up photo shoots and interviews and then fail to show up because he wanted to be left in peace- he did it because he ENJOYED being a prick.

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