Did you know that Barry Bonds has not retired from baseball? That means the five-year clock on his wait to the Baseball Hall of Fame has not started ticking. Barry will just have to wait and wait and wait because it will never happen and that is sad – sad for baseball and for the best Hall of Fame in the USA – but there is not an ounce of sadness for the all-time home run king (and holder of several other records).
Those of us who love baseball can do without his plaque in Cooperstown.
Bonds is so arrogant that he must think that some team somewhere will still have him. That is not going to happen, just like the Hall of Fame will never have him, and even when he does officially retire it is unlikely either team that put up with him, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, would even retire his number.
Having said that, I think the federal prosecutors should not retry Bonds on the perjury charges that resulted in a hung jury. Just let him go and forget all about him.
When I worked at Three Rivers Stadium in the mid-90s, Bonds had already left for San Francisco, but the stories he left behind in Pittsburgh stunned me. I could not find one person at the stadium or in the Pirates organization who had a nice thing to say about him. Once when the Giants came back to play in Pittsburgh my then 11-year-old son went up to Bonds outside the locker room and asked for an autograph. There was no one else around, no gaggle of autograph hounds, just Bonds and my son. All my son got was a silent, dagger-like stare. Nice guy, huh?
So why not retry Mr. Pleasant? Because every baseball fan knows what he did and to make it worse, he never had to do it. I firmly believe Bonds saw the home runs and admiration (at the time) that went to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and he just couldn’t stand it, so he did what we all know he did. Bonds had more talent than either of the other two sluggers but he just could not stand being in their shadows.
My guess, though I hope I’m wrong, is that Bonds will hold the home run record forever.
Maybe it will make him smile, but for real baseball fans it is time to move on. He will not be missed in baseball and he will not be missed at the Hall of Fame.