No asterisk required

Kyle Nodarse

Barry Bonds’ home run record should not have an asterisk. The ball should not have an asterisk on it and should be placed in the hall of fame right next to Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run ball. The single season home run record stands at 72 and that record is held by Barry Bonds. Give the man his due because he has earned it.Now let me set the record straight before everyone reading this stops and throws the newspaper away. I dislike Barry Bonds a lot. I’m not defending him, but we all live in a country that says we are innocent until proven guilty. As far as I’m concerned, a book written by reporters and an interview with an angry ex-girlfriend does not guarantee that he is guilty. He is to be tried for five counts of perjury but until that point in time leave the man alone.

This also goes for other baseball players whose names showed up on the Mitchell Report and who are also being condemned immediately. What happened to a fair trial? Roger Clemens just sued his former trainer, Brian McNamee, for slander. Most fans of baseball are already assuming he’s guilty based on that evidence alone when Clemens has not even had a chance to testify to defend himself from the damning allegations he now faces.

I don’t know for sure that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are innocent. Quite honestly I have a pretty strong feeling that they’re both guilty as hell and that they’re both screwed. Neither of them will end up in the hall of fame and both will be publicly shunned after they retire, which seems likely for both men.

I do know that both of these men have had great careers and have done things that no one ever thought they would see. Fans flocked to the ballparks to see these two great athletes play the game, and I believe both of these ball players — as well as every other baseball player on the Mitchell Report — deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Innocent until proven guilty is the way our legal system is supposed to work, so instead of being ready to ban them from the game, how about everyone waits for our legal system to do their jobs and finally allow everyone to learn the truth about steroid use in baseball?