Barry Bonds has finally hit home run #756. Can we now please go back to ignoring him?
I say: No. The man holds the record for most career home runs and most home runs in a single season. What's more, not only did he hit 73 home runs in 2001, but he also "managed to shatter two of Babe Ruth's longstanding records -- most walks (177) and highest slugging percentage (.863) in a season." That record of walks stood until . . . the next season when he drew 198. Then in 2004, he drew 232 which helped hold him to 45 homers but helped power him to an OBP of .609, a major league record. He had nine different seasons with over 30 stolen bases, plus two 29 SB seasons and a 28 SB season.
He is, in short, the greatest offensive player in the history of baseball. Not being someone who pays much attention to baseball, I don't pay a ton of attention to Bonds, but it's silly for people to just shut their ears and pretend this didn't happen. Yes, it appears that during the period when Major League Baseball had no steroid policy, he took steroids. And the day when MLB invalidates all the other records from the Steroid Era -- rescinds the World Series titles and the division penants, takes back the Cy Young awards and the Golden Gloves, etc., etc., etc. -- I suppose it would make sense to take Bonds' achievements away too. But until that happens, the records are the records and he played better than anyone else.
Many thanks to James for thinking me when he saw this.