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Pujols vs. Bonds

When Albert Pujols hit his 18th homer of the season yeaterday he became the second fastest to hit that mark. (The fastest guy did it in 1923.) This got me thinking about Barry Bonds.

If it was Bonds who had just hit his 18th homer we’d be hearing even louder cries about his alleged use of steroids than we do now. Why is it that nobody is even mentioning it with Pujols? Neither player has had a positive test result so why are we all so quick to get on Bonds and we don’t even question Pujols?

The answer isn’t so much that people like Pujols (even though they do) but that people dislike Bonds. But the reason people dislike Bonds is very different than the reason Bonds thinks people dislike him.

To hear Bonds say it you’d think that everyone wants to set him up for failure, everyone is racist toward blacks, people just hate me, etc. But that’s not it. It’s the steroids allegations.

Sure there have been many players caught up in the steroids controversy. Being as I’m a New Yorker Jason Giambi‘s name comes to mind. Much like Bonds, Giambi has never been suspended for steroids, never tested positive for steroids and testified in the BALCO trial. Unlike Bonds, Giambi has been apologetic (even if he didn’t need to be), non-confrontational and quiet about the issue.

Why do people like Giambi and dislike Bonds? because Giambi took the high road and Bonds took the low road. Because Giambi remained calm and quiet about it and Bonds deflected the criticism on anyone but himslef. Because Giambi is a nice guy and Bonds is… well, you know.

I had a much more morbid thought about Bonds the other day. I wasn’t going to write it here because it’s not exactly politically corrrect but in light of the above I think I’ll mention it.

The other night Juan Pierre robbed Bonds of a home run that would have tied him with Babe Ruth at 714 and a very morbid thought came to mind. What if Bonds would suffer a career ending injury before hitting number 714. I’m not talking about something he could rehab and conceivably come back from next year. I’m talking something big that would leave no doubt that he would never play again. How would he react? What would he say to the media? How would the public respond? I don’t have the answer. It’s just a question that came to mind when I saw the frustrated look on his face after Pierre robbed him of that home run.

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