He’s finally done it. Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants has, at age 43, surpassed Hank Aaron’s career home run record. Aaron, of course, had surpassed Babe Ruth’s home run record. Aaron played in more games than Ruth and the balls and bats were different. We know about Barry Bonds’ advantage: steroids.
Bob Costas interviewed Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and some of those who produced the steroids that were not traceable in the bloodstream. One of them explained that when he started producing the clear steroid, it wasn’t illegal and that athletes have always tried to gain an edge.
Maybe so, but there are rules involving bats and balls. They have to be of a certain kind. They can’t be enhanced or severe penalties result. You’re not supposed to throw a spitball or put tar on the ball to make it behave a certain way.
The same rules should apply to the body. If you can’t enhance bats and balls, you shouldn’t be able to enhance the body so that one player gains an advantage over others who play by the rules. If Bonds deserves his record, he also deserves an asterisk.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.