Good and Bad Happenings on the Baseball Front
New Book Profiles Bonds’ Alleged Steroid Use
According to a new book written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, Barry Bonds used multiple performance-enhancing drugs including steroids and human growth hormone. The book, Game of Shadows, is based on over 1000 pages of documents and interviews with more than 200 people. The new book alleges that Bonds started using performance-enhancing drugs during the 1998 season when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were chasing Roger Maris’ home-run record.
In 2001, the year Bonds hit 73 home-runs breaking McGwire’s record of 70, the Giants top slugger is alleged to have used a number of fast-acting steroids. Trenbolone, one of the steroids Bonds is mentioned as having used, is often used to increase the muscle quality of cattle.
According to the Associated Press, Bonds claimed in grand jury testimony that he never thought what his trainer, Greg Anderson, was giving him was dangerous or illegal. “I’m 39 years old. I’m dealing with pain. All I want is the pain relief, you know...I never asked Greg.”
The book, which is scheduled to be released on March 27, has documentation alleging steroid use by several athletes including Rafael Palmeiro, Marion Jones, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield to name a few.
The outcome of all the allegations and investigation into Bonds’ steroid use could possibly affect his ownership of the single season home-run record. It remains to be seen whether Major League Baseball will acknowledge the validity of the evidence in question and, if so, how much impact that will have upon Bonds’ place in the record books.
WBC: Canada Stuns U.S., Dominican Republic Rolls Over Competition
The first annual World Baseball Classic, which began on March 2, has proved to be surprisingly difficult for the U.S. team. Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic is wrecking their competition with an undefeated record so far. The WBC is divided up into five four-team pools and this week’s end marks the completion of the first round of play.
Japan and Korea have already advanced from Pool A, which also included China and Chinese Taipei. Korea is undefeated thus far, having pulled off a slight upset versus rival Japan.
Canada pulled a shocking upset Thursday when they defeated the U.S. team. The U.S. is now one loss from a quick exit from the WBC, which would be disappointing for a country that is the birthplace of baseball. The U.S. faces South Africa today in a game that could be their last.
Pool C includes Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Netherlands and Panama. Puerto Rico is 2-0 so far, having beaten Panama and the Netherlands. Cuba is favored to move on, along with Puerto Rico.
The Dominican Republic is the story of the Classic so far with a team that is stacked with talent including Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, David Ortiz, Johan Santana and Bartolo Colon. They have scored the most runs in round one and also lead in home-runs.
The WBC is undergoing its first official test this year, and based on how
successful the event is this year it may become an annual fixture in the major
leagues plans for the season. If the U.S. falters they may have little reason to
continue putting major leaguers into full contact, competitive games right
before the beginning of the regular season.