The Last Balco Opinion. Promise.

Before we move on to next year, it's time for one last word on a word we hope to never hear in 2005. Or, at least, not one we'll be forced to hear hundreds of times each day.

Bonds has 99 problems and a pitch ain’t one. Regarding the Balco fiasco, the man should be nervous if he cared. But he doesn’t. He played under the microscope last year until it was up his nose and down his rear and he still didn’t falter. While Bonds turned scoreboards into pinball machines, others embroiled in the controversy cracked miserably. Jason Giambi’s uncanny resemblance to Waldo from the “Hot for Teacher” video made the Balco spotlight burn white hot considering the guy looked like Triple H for the past four years. Immediately prior to the 2004 ALCS, Gary Sheffield sang like Henry Hill when he tattled about “the cream” and losing his personal chef to Bonds. (That guy must have made a great strudel.) They simply couldn’t escape the Balco maelstrom with their bodies and/or integrity intact.

Bonds is another animal entirely, I guess, and that’s not to say he’s any better. When asked about everything Balco-related, he’s said in the past that he’s forty and doesn’t need to answer to anyone. I’m 32, my wife’s 36 (Oh yeah! Older! The tops!) and my parents are sniffing 60. We have to answer to people as I’m sure you do, but he doesn’t? I wasn’t aware that the forty year mark is the finishing line when it comes to having accountability. That’s an interesting perspective. All I know is that when baseball’s behind him, he’ll have to answer to that reflection in the mirror if he doesn’t have a sit-down with his son and daughters first.

We’re talking about a kid’s game. No amount of money from Nike and MasterCard or Spider-Man 2 bases are bigger than that, let alone Barry and his ego. It’s arguable that no amount of cream an’ clear can enable Bonds to keep those wrists up, turning over perfectly and smacking fastballs from the likes of Gagne and K-Rod. Personally, I don’t think it does. There’s much more to Bonds than Balco and his attitude has ensured us that we’ll never know. When it comes to his legacy, though, it’d be nice to see him say he’s sorry to no one in particular but for everyone to hear. For Barry, it would be a great start.

Keith Larson writes for because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.

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