Monday, August 30, 2004

Barry Bonds

Ken Rosenthal explains why Barry Bonds should be this year's NL MVP. From the few times when I've seen the Giants play, I have to agree. Even aside from the stats, there's the effect he has on the game and the way other teams pull themselves way out of whack trying to account for him. One can only imagine his numbers he he were handled the same way as Albert Pujols or Scott Rolen.

Inevitably, of course, Rosenthal also mentions the possible BALCO connection, and how accusations of steroid use might taint his legacy. I have a question, however. How much can a player really be helped by that? My understanding is that steroids mainly enhance strength. Do they really have that much impact on hand-eye coordination and other key aspects of Bonds's game?

This is not to say that such steroid use, if real, should be tolerated. I just don't think what we're seeing could be nothing more than the creation of a few chemicals.

UPDATE: In the game I saw last night, Bonds hit the second and third longest home runs in Turner Field history in the same night. Steroids could make the ball go farther, but do they help him actually hit it?


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