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SportsNation: Bonds is guilty, but he's not alone

12/5/2004

For a story that lacked any major element of surprise, the leaked grand-jury testimony from the BALCO case regarding Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi sure packed quite a punch.

Baseball fans had long harbored suspicions about this generation's powerful bunch of sluggers. Wednesday's news that Giambi, the New York Yankees slugger, admitted during testimony in February to using steroids in 2003 was more confirmation than revelation.

Word then followed Thursday night that Bonds testified to a grand jury that he unknowingly used steroids given to him by a trainer. SportsNation isn't buying the San Francisco Giants standout's excuse that he didn't know what was in the substances he received from trainer Greg Anderson, with nearly 85 percent of voters saying they don't believe that Bonds wasn't aware of what he was doing.

Do you believe Bonds when he says he did not know the clear substance and cream he received from Anderson were steroids?
84.7% -- No
15.3% -- Yes
Total votes: 128,703

In fact, even while Giambi was the focus of stories early in the week, Bonds was the underlying subject. As these numbers indicate, the bulk of SportsNation presumed Bonds had used steroids long before Giambi's testimony was leaked.

Giambi admits to receiving steroids from Greg , weight trainer for Bonds. Does this change your opinion about Bonds' possible steroid use?

82.3% -- I always thought Bonds used steroids
10.5% -- I didn't believe Bonds used, and I still don't
7.2% -- I didn't believe Bonds used, but I do now

If SportsNation already assumed Bonds has used steriods, the real question is what becomes of his legacy?

Should Bonds have an asterisk next to his name in the record books?
66.4% -- Yes
33.6% -- No

Should these revelations affect Bonds' eligibility for the Hall of Fame?
53.1% -- No
46.9% --Yes

How will Bonds be remembered years from now?
55.0% -- Steroid user
28.3% -- Greatest HR hitter of his era
16.7% -- Greatest HR hitter of all-time
Total votes: 128,703

And Giambi? More than 60 percent of fans responded to the news with disappointment or anger, compared to just 9 percent who were surprised or shocked. And nearly 70 percent think at least one in every five baseball players uses steroids.

What is your first reaction to hearing Giambi admitted to using steroids?
48.5% -- Disappointment
28.6% -- Indifference
12.9% -- Anger
7.3% -- Surprise
2.7% -- Shock
Total votes: 32,195

Knowing that Giambi admitted to using steroids, what is your feeling as to what percentage of baseball players use steroids?
28.6% -- 21-30 percent
24.9% -- 11-20 percent
20.5% -- More than 40 percent
17.4% -- 31-40 percent
8.6% -- 0-10 percent
Total votes: 133,284

And as those numbers suggest, fans may accept that steroids are a part of the baseball landscape, but they don't approve.

Do you care if Major League Baseball players use steroids?
93.2% -- Yes, it's wrong and taints the game
6.8% -- No, the more power hitters the better

What should be the punishment for a positive steroid test?
44.6% -- Season suspension
34.6% -- 20-game suspension
9.2% -- Permanent suspension
6.7% -- No suspension for first-time offense
4.9% -- 3-game suspension
Total votes: 32,195

Your thoughts
I'm sick and tired of the argument that steroids don't make you a better baseball player. It's just ridiculous. The evidence is right in front of us. For the first time in the history of baseball we have a player who, at 40, is MUCH, MUCH better than at 30. As a physician, I will just tell you that such a phenomena has odds similar to those involved in winning the lottery. ... Maybe it doesn't improve hand-eye coordination, but it certainly gives an athlete more strength, which leads to greater bat speed, which leads to: (1) a better ability to handle tougher pitches in the sense that the batter can now wait the fraction of a second longer before he has to decide to swing; and (2) the ability to hit the outside pitch a very long way (where that pitch might have resulted in a flare or routine fly ball before).
Eric
New York City

What I can't understand is how the "clean" ballplayers stand around and do nothing. The players that use steroids are blemishing the game, and taking contracts away from the clean players. Yet the player's union does nothing. That leads me to believe that there are far more players juicing than not. Plus - let's not let the owner's off here. Are you telling me that the Yankee's didn't know Giambi was on the juice? They are trying to get out of a contract now that they signed with full disclosure. San Francisco - they didn't know Bonds was on the juice? Come on - the owners are just as liable for letting this get out of control. And furthermore, I have no confidence that any of the recent revelations will change ANYTHING in baseball.
The Dali
Colchester, CT

I'm just 17. Jason Giambi was my icon. I strived to be like him. I wear No. 25 when I play baseball in the spring and summer, I play first base, I just looked up to him as a guy I know I could be. With him admitting he took steriods, just makes me sick to my stomach and embarrassed to say that he was my icon. My Giambi jersey just lays on my closet floor because I can't wear it. I just don't think it's fair that he could do such a thing. I'm a Yankees fan as well. For the better of the team, he should be gone. I'm sorry for thinking you were a good guy Jason. I really am.
J.R.
Allentown, PA

People who think baseball is "tainted" because of steroid use can only mean they also believe every other professional sport and, maybe even amateur athletics, is "tainted" as well. Come on! Steroid use is in EVERY sport! It's just a part of sports in this era, I don't like it nor do I think it's right, but it's not just baseball doing it.
Edison

Two weeks ago the NBA stepped up to punish players for behaving in a way that hurt their game. The use of steroids has certainly hurt baseball. The players who are clean could push a new rule through the union. More guys are clean than dirty. Those found to be using should be dismissed from the game. With Rose being banned for life for betting on games, how can Bonds and Giambi not also be banned for life? They have changed the outcome of far more games than Pete did by betting on games. Take away the MVP awards, take away the numbers they have piled up, dismiss them from the game. A guy like Dale Murphy who was clean as a whistle can't get in the HOF, and folks act like a juiced up Barry is the greatest of all time, give me a break! Show us you care about character and the good name of this great game.
David
Birmingham