Thursday, March 04, 2004

posted by James - 12:11 AM

As an addendum to my previous post, I'll note that if Barry Bonds ever tests positive for a performance altering substance such as steroids or HGH after his own union agreed to start testing... he should be banned from baseball for life. At the very least, he should have less of a chance at the Hall of Fame than Pete Rose.

I hope not one word I wrote earlier misconstrued my position to be that steroids are anything but a shortcut.

There would be no bigger character flaw than taking these substances for any portion of your career and then lying about it in the voracious manner Bonds has. (Right now, he says he hasn't taken any, and I have to take him at his word. That's his right as a citizen of the United States of America. He lives in Capitalist America, not Communist Cuba.)

I think he's the greatest player of all time with or without this debate, but he would have be denied baseball's highest honor if MLB can convict Bonds of using steroids when he's got his father and godfather as prime examples of why you shouldn't have to use them.

Bonds could have been a pioneer in this argument, but if he's lying, he deserves his martyrdom.

His connection with people who have already brought wrong to the state of baseball today has further perpetuated that wrong.

He has every right to distance himself from those people, but if he's lying, he shouldn't have any chance to sniff a plaque in Cooperstown.

This is a 180-degree shift for me, and one I have no problem making for Bonds, Giambi, Sheffield or even Sammy.

One more thing before I sign off for today...

The defending World Champion Florida Marlins cut Josh Beckett's salary by the maximum 12.5%. His salary will be lower next year by $215,625.

I don't disagree that this is a cheapskate-ish move by the Marlins, but it's well within their rights, and they've paid him handsomely since they drafted him No. 2 overall in 1999.

They gave him a major-league contract out of high school and a $3.625 million bonus.

He's not actually worth the $1,509,375 they're paying him next year unless he shows he can make more than 25 starts. He's pitched brilliantly in his short MLB career, but he's yet to prove he can stay healthy (and if he does, he'll make bushels of greenbacks in his first arbitration year. That's how the system works).

Wilbon and Kornheiser from ESPN's PTI were all over the Marlins on their show for cutting the salary of their ace pitcher and World Series MVP.

They say the least they could do is keep his salary the same after he won them a World Series.

I say, "They've already paid him $10 million dollars, the least he could do was win them a World Series."

But then again, maybe I'm just a Cub fan still bitter about the NLCS.

Ahhh... Maddux get on that mound and make me forget about all of it!

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