"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer



I have a feeling we just finishing up Act VI here.

Barry Bonds would be perfectly at home in a Shakespearian tragedy. The irony of his current situation follows so closely to that of Macbeth it is almost tragic. Sorry.

Yet, here we are. A great baseball player, a sure lock for the Hall of Fame. The perfect all-around player: hits for average, fast on the base paths, and plays the field well. He could easily finished his career up in 2003 or so with 500 home runs, and 500 stolen bases. He's close to 3000 hits now, but in actuality his best years for average were between '01 and '04. Which leads me to the irony.

Steroids don't really do much for a slugger. Probably 90% of hitting a home run is simply making contact with the ball. It's the hardest thing to do in sports, it has been said. Power does come into the equation sure, as does the percentage of fast twitch muscles, which is probably the part were steroids affect the equation. However, the biggest role for performance enhancing drugs, especially for a player striving to reach a goal that has much more to do with career longevity than power, is it's effect on recovery.

Steroids allow for muscle and joint recovery to happen much quicker, and it's benefits for an older baseball player in the regard are undeniable. Barry Bonds has never hit more than 49 home runs in a season except for that one year. For the most part he's been a day in, day out 35-45 home runs a season. It's just when he's still doing at age 40, then 41, and...wait...42?! (really?!) is what is remarkable, and what has gotten to the event of breaking Hank Aaron's record earlier this week.

If it hadn't been for the steroids, we would seen the injuries take over, the starts diminish, and a great player having the sunset of his career around 2002. Instead, from 2000 to 2004 Bonds hit for an average .341 and 307 home runs. Not exactly an evening stroll after dinner for an old man.

The man could've had it all if he'd just left things to their natural course. Respect, adulation, and a bust in the Hall of Fame. Instead, he wasn't satisfied with his accomplishments and became mired in jealously over others (ill-gotten) fame - McGwire and Sosa. For some reason his current career path wasn't good enough and it had to be all about the home runs. So it was - his fatal flaw. So then Barry Bonds had arguably one of the best 5 year runs in history, let alone for a player over 35.

And at what cost? He has arrived at Baseball hallowed ground with Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron's record in shatters, and what has happened to the respect and adulation? Gone, under all the speculation of steroid abuse. And it's pretty obvious to anyone who has been paying attention, to the released court documents, to all the parties involved, that it is much more than just speculation.

And just as in any other tragedy, when the deed is finally done and people begin to talk, the man with the fatal flaw begins to wilt and sag under the crushing weight of the guilt and shame and realization that had he just let things be he'd be much better off.

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