Dear Barry Bonds:
Like many people in my generation (I am 34), you have been the greatest baseball player I have known. Since the mid 70's as a kid in New Jersey watching & attending Yankee games, I have watched great players come and go, including Nolan Ryan, Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, and so many other great ball players, but in the last five years or so, you have made many of their accomplishments seem less extraordinary. I remember Reggie hitting three homers in the 78 World Series, I remember Bucky Dent hitting his pinch hit homer to beat Boston. I remember the Mets winning in 1986; I have so many great memories from baseball.
Until now, I have been naive over steroid use. Now, I remember when you first came into the league in the late 80's, hell I even remember watching you in the College World Series. In spite of knowing how thin you were, I refused to believe your gigantic increase in size in your mid 30's was simply a result of your work-out regiment. My dad, himself a huge baseball fan, has been turned off from baseball in the last 10 years, mostly because of how many balls leaving the ballpark. I told him it's because guys are bigger and stronger nowadays, Dad. However, he said there's a lot more to do that that, including bringing the ballparks in (Yankee Stadium is a perfect example), pitching is not what it used to be (Allie Reynolds is an example my dad gives), etc. Regardless, in 2001, when Barry hit his 73 dingers, according to my perception, it was simply the most amazing season Barry or anyone other slugger has ever had and my Dad should accept it. I, like many other baseball fans were watching with excitement as Barry belted shot after shot. I told my dad, before Marris hit 61, nobody believed someone who hit more than the Babe did when he hit 60. It's just an evolution of the sport because of bigger and stronger ballplayers. Well, I was wrong. It's not some amazing work-out routine making modern day ballplayers bigger and stronger, its steroids. Barry never hit more than 50 dingers in his life before that 2001 season. What's worse, now that we know you did take steroids; you're trying to tell us you didn't know what you were taking!? C'mon, Barry, we've been duped long enough. 100 years from now, when kids talk about Barry Bonds like we talk about the Babe now, or Mickey Mantle, or some real legend, I just hope the kids also say, 'oh, yea he hit a lot of homers, but he took steroids to enhance his performance,' whereas the Babe or Hank Aaron never did. You always have an asterisk next to your name, *Barry.
Mike Moran, Grateful Web