Barry Bonds as sympathetic figure, as victim. I think not.
Is this the theory that time heals all wounds? That the arrogance and hubris of Mr. Bonds, his repeated denials of wrongdoing, are to be forgotten and forgiven?
Mr. Bonds did not act alone. He was joined by an indulgent ownership, more than willing to turn a blind eye as long as the bottom line kept improving, and by more players than we may ever know who were seeking glory, riches and the advantages of a tilted playing field.
But Mr. Bonds, and Roger Clemens, both with outsized careers before the steroid era commenced, and outsized egos to match their skills, were the most visible and egregious of offenders. The Hall of Fame does not await either of them, and perhaps, ultimately that is the most damning condemnation of their actions.
Yet to deal in historical revision, trying to make Mr. Bonds something far less outrageous a character than the reality of that moment demonstrated, is to do a disservice to the fans. We should not carry hate in our heart, but showering Mr. Bonds with love and affection, almost asking his forgiveness for our trespasses, is not that to which he is entitled nor that which is our burden or obligation.