Vindication for Bonds

Can we put the embarrassing idea that steroids in baseball is something we need to care about to rest yet? Please?

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that The Clear, one of the evil, innocence-of-a-nation-destroying substances Barry Bonds was allegedly using was legal. Not just in baseball, but in the United States. It was not on the list of substances classified as a "steroid" by the Feds. In fact, according to the grand jury testimony obtained by Yahoo!, there hasn't even been a study as to whether THG (the Clear's chemical name) even has the effect of increasing muscle mass.

This investigation of Bonds has cost taxpayers $55 million dollars. 

Bonds still faces perjury charges, but even those seem flimsy all of a sudden, since apparently he was telling the truth when he said he didn't take steroids if this is all they can prove that he took.

But really, I just want all of the hypocritical self-righteousness from both the media and the fans to stop. I have no particular affection towards Barry Bonds, nor any specific animosity. It's just that I find the whole "we must preserve the integrity of baseball. Won't someone please think of the children!" to be ridiculous. I'm fairly positive every baseball fan has, at some point, rooted for someone who's used performance enhancers of some kind, legal or otherwise. And if you watch the NFL at all, you really don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to moral self-righteousness, since nobody seems outraged by the fact that Shawne Merriman's NFL career - to name but one example - continues undaunted. The fact that Bonds was so conspicuously good in an era when more players than we'll ever know were using some kind of something speaks to his talent, frankly, and the fact that nobody apparently bothered to find out what this stuff even was before judging the man says a lot about the people who were pointing the fingers. And I can't help but notice that as of this second, neither ESPN nor Sports Illustrated has picked up this story (plenty of stuff on both sites continuing to trash Clemens, though!)

Mark McGwire has taken a lot of shit for his "I'm not here to talk about the past" remarks in front of Congress - that performance probably cost him a spot in the Hall of Fame, although I suspect he'll have a better shot with the Veterans' Committee if the writers continue to be stubborn and wrong-headed about this. But I'm inclined to think that "not talking about the past" might be the right way to go - instead of wasting taxpayer money on pointlessly wrecking someone's reputation, let's focus on educating "the children" on the potential pitfalls of performance-enhancing drugs, and on instituting a comprehensive testing policy in Major League Baseball, one with some teeth. And hey: while the current one isn't perfect (just ask J. C. Romero), it's something. Let's stop wasting everyone's time and money with this mess.

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