(Somehow this post was never published, it was originally written on 10/2/2007)
Barry Bonds says he won't visit the Baseball Hall of Fame if they put his record-breaking ball (now marked with an asterisk) in there. (story). There has been a lot of commentary and controversy surround Bonds, steroids, the record, etc. Here is my take on it:
--First of all, Bonds ASSUMES that he will be elected to the Hall of Fame. Wait, how does that go again? ELECTED to the HOF? Ah, yes, you see a select group of people get to vote and decide who goes into the HOF. It is the same group (not same individuals, but same group) that keeps Pete Rose's PLAYING career out of the HOF. Does Bonds think the voting committee will ever put him in the Hall? I don't see it happening in my lifetime.
--Second, Bonds says "There are no asterisks in baseball." Where has HE been for his career? Of courses there are asterisks in baseball. They're all over the place, from single-season records (signifying the fact that there were more games in a season, that night games were not in effect, that there was blood on the sock, whatever) to stadium attendance to field sizes and distances to the walls of those stadiums. Of COURSE there are asterisks. I would venture that Bonds' contract is LOADED with them (though in legalese, they would be footnotes).
--Third, Bonds says he is going to retire in five years. That assumes any team in the league wants him now that the Giants have said, "no thanks." The way the HOF works, a player cannot be nominated until at least five years after they retire. So, basically, we're looking at ten years before the issue comes up "officially." Please refer back to point #1.