What should MLB do about Bonds?

Updated: November 16, 2007, 6:12 PM ET

Now that Barry Bonds has been indicted on counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, how should Major League Baseball respond? Suspension? Remove his records from the books? Absolutely nothing? We asked some of our ESPN baseball analysts.

There's not much that Major League Baseball can, or should, do until the legal process is concluded. It should be up to individual teams, not MLB, whether Bonds will play in 2008. For now, he is innocent, and should be treated that way. Even if he is convicted and sent to prison, MLB should not take his records away. Baseball has never done that in its history. If his records are eradicated, then everything that he touched, most important being the winning and losing of games, must be erased. That would be impractical on so many levels. An asterisk doesn't serve any purpose, either. There already is, and always will be, an imaginary asterisk next to this era, and especially close to Bonds.

Baseball shouldn't do anything. Did they remove Gaylord Perry's name from the record books when he admitted he cheated? No, they put him in the Hall of Fame. Did they remove Dwight Gooden's name when he was busted for drugs? Of course not. Did they remove Denny McLain's name when he was thrown in jail? Again, no. The feds have jurisdiction on this one. Baseball should just go on with business as usual, generating $6 billion a year in revenue while setting attendance records.

Barry Bonds hasn't been found guilt of anything yet -- other than being terminally unlikeable. And even before news of his indictment hit the wires, the chances of him finding a job with a big league team as a free agent this winter were iffy. With the Mitchell report nearing completion, Bud Selig has enough steroid-related headaches on his agenda in the coming months. The commissioner has pursed his lips and issued the obligatory statement proclaiming that he takes the indictment "very seriously.'' Now it's time for him to step aside, let the legal process play out, and turn his attention to increasing Major League Baseball's $6.075 billion revenue stream.

Baseball has to let it play out, as Bud Selig did this entire season when many of us believe he knew an indictment eventually would be handed down. Once the proof of the drug test mentioned in the indictment is laid out in court, Selig can ban Bonds from working for any team, a la Pete Rose; the chances of Bonds playing again are close to nil. Now that Bonds is widely condemned for lying, it's ironic that many players -- Rafael Palmeiro, for one -- and administrators effectively lied, with no indignation, and the one man who went before Congress and refused to lie was Mark McGwire, who has been in exile.

MLB should do nothing. It's only an indictment. I understand that this is news, but it would be nice if people would stop acting as if (1) he was convicted of anything, or (2) this was actually about using steroids, when in fact it's about perjury/obstruction of justice, the same two things for which Bill Clinton was impeached.

Major League Baseball shouldn't respond at all, except in the form of bland statements issued through the PR department. Barry Bonds is a free agent, which means he's not actually connected to Major League Baseball in any official, meaningful way. In fact, Bonds is as affiliated with MLB as the recently-retired Craig Biggio is. Bonds is, at this moment, little but an historical artifact. Could Bonds be suspended? Not until he's actually been convicted of a crime, or pleads guilty to one. Could Bonds be stricken from the record books? Sure. But once you begin to pull that loose piece of string, where do you stop?