Let me say this from the jump: I believe that Barry Bonds has taken steroids.
However, when he hits home run #756, he should get all the trappings of the home run champ should. Hank Aaron doesn't have to be there ... but Bud Selig does. The game should be stopped. His teammates should wait for him at home plate.
Are some of Bonds' 756 home runs tainted? Oh, I'm pretty sure they are. But what can you do right now? He's never failed a test.
We could always put an asterick by his record ... but why? Astericks only make people that love to say "yeah, but" feel better. Asterick or not, history will define Bonds more than any asterick ever could. If there was no asterick, don't you think that everyone would know that Bonds might have been a cheater?
To punish Bonds just because he has the record is hypocritical. After all, Raffy Palmeiro's 569 home runs have no asterick ... and he has tested positive for steroids. Mark McGwire, who has virtually the same cloud hovering over him, doesn't have an asterick by his 583 home runs. Sammy Sosa will hit his 600th dinger soon ... and there is no asterick by him. No astericks by Ken Caminiti's numbers [or MVP award]. Why should Bonds be the lone one with the asterick? Because he's on top?
The biggest scandal in baseball history ... the 1919 World Series that was won by the Reds because it was thrown by the White Sox ... has no asterick. Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson have no astericks anywhere near their names ... yet we all know what they've done.
By the way, if baseball truly wanted to place astericks by shaky numbers ... why not put 'em around Ted Williams and the other major league players who sacrificed their lives and career to serve this country in World War II? Williams' numbers could be up there with the Aaron's, Ruth's, Mays' and Bonds if he didn't take several years off in his prime to fight in wars. I think THOSE numbers need astericks to remind people the good.
And lest we remind you that 10 of the 16 players who have been caught with steroids have been pitchers.
Should we erase Bonds' numbers? If we do, then there will be a domino effect across baseball's record books. Do we start erasing all the runs scored by players who were on base during Bonds' homers? Do we go back and fix all the ERAs, walks, strikeouts and what not for all the pitchers who faced Bonds? Imean, the same 'roided Bonds that hit those home runs was the same one that drew the walks and struck out. How many Bonds HRs won games for the Giants? Should we go back and look at team's wins and losses and adjust the standings and playoffs?
The thing is you can't erase numbers. You can't make something that did happen go away because you don't want it. What you can do is let it be and pass the legend. Let Bonds pass Aaron ... and if you don't like it, tell your kids to tell their kids.
The fact that the number will be there is it's own asterick.