Barry Bonds hasn't ever been caught using steroids via a drug test. Okay he's confessed to using something that turned out to be steroids. But he claimed he thought it was something else. Liar liar pants on fire.
I just heard Bob Costas' assessment of Bonds' possible guilt, based on circumstantial evidence. It's pretty strong. Blood test or not.
He went from a lifetime average in the high two hundreds to something in the high threes when he was well into his thirties. In the history of baseball no one has done that. Not that he didn't already have a Hall of Fame career. But nobody makes the leaps of improvement heading into his forties the way Bonds did. Without help.
His on base percentage was in the three hundreds and it jumped to the eight hundreds. That's ridiculous. He had to buy shoes three sizes larger. And there's that whole thing about how big his head got. Literally. Not just his big, fat swelled head attitude.
The guy is juiced. Just like Sosa and McGuire. Any of the big guys. The ones we know about like Canseco. And the ones we don't. I'd throw Frank Thomas in there. On reflection, maybe I'd include even the Cubs' beloved Kerry Wood. Because the rumor is that the pitchers are as juiced as the hitters.
Makes me wonder if any of those Tommy John surgeries we've read about over the years were because of pitchers on steroids. Nolan Ryan was throwing 90+ mph smoke well into his forties, pitching two of his record seven no hitters. I wonder.
Frank Thomas ripped his triceps muscle a few years ago -- a classic steroid injury. A power lifter I knew ripped his biceps muscle at the health club one day. It rolled up just like a shade. He said the problem is that steroids help your muscles grow but the tendons don't change and eventually something has got to give.
But nobody really cares about Frank Thomas. He's been under the radar during his career for the most part, never really challenging any of the records.
Let's look at Kerry Wood's career. He was forty pounds heavier when he started. Steroids? Back then he just muscled the ball by everybody, foregoing any opportunity to develop good mechanics. Then he started spending more time on the disabled list than in the rotation. Poor coaching? Bad managing? Steroid injuries? I have no proof obviously, just contemplating.
Each year when he's tried to rehab he's come back slimmer and trimmer. But he doesn't have the magic he used to have. The power isn't there anymore. There's no real movement on the ball like ten years ago. His 20K day has come and gone. He hasn't even got enough to hold hitters at bay for an inning or two in his new role in relief.
I'm reminded of Tony Mandarich, drafted by the Green Bay Packers years ago. He was a 'roid boy from college who went off the stuff so he could pass the drug tests and morphed from a monster into a mouse with man boobs.
I think Kerry Wood was juiced in the beginning and now he is trying to resurrect his career without the steroids. Not very successfully. The difference between him and Barry Bonds is that I can't think of a single person in Chicago who doesn't wish him well.