Barry Bonds had a profound impact on baseball. Graduating sixth overall in the 1985 MLB Draft, Barry Bonds needed only 115 games in the minors before making it to “The Show.”
There is a huge asterisk next to his name despite the fact that he played for 22 years, made 14 All-Star teams, won 12 Silver Sluggers, seven National League MVP Awards, eight Gold Gloves, broke numerous Major League Baseball records, and hit 762 home runs.
Many professional athletes who used anabolic steroids, also known as “The Cream,” were arrested during the BALCO investigation. Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones was there, as were NFL All-Pro Bill Romanowski and baseball legend Barry Bonds.
Although Bonds’ entire career has been largely attributed to steroid use, suspicions only began to arise after he hired Greg Anderson as his personal trainer in 1998.
It’s no secret that Barry Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs. There is no doubt among baseball fans as to whether he deserves to be ranked among the game’s all-time greats, and as a result, many of his records have been tainted. It doesn’t matter what the player did, his stats will remain intact. A player who uses steroids to increase his strength has an unfair advantage.
Barry Bonds, Before He Used Drugs
Even before he started using steroids, Barry Bonds was already a phenomenal ballplayer. When the year 1998 rolled around, he had already established himself as a superstar on the baseball field with a.290 batting average and 411 home runs. Since he was on track to become one of the best, people were reluctant to even pitch to him.
In the bottom of the ninth inning of that same 1998 season, with the bases loaded, the Arizona Diamondbacks intentionally walked Barry. Instead of risking losing by letting Barry hit a home run and allowing the other team to score four runs, the team decided to take a chance with the next batter and give up one run.
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This is how much teams feared the player, but unfortunately, Barry began to slow down in the late 1990s as he began to see other players hitting home run after home run and nipping at his heels. Around this time, steroid use became commonplace in baseball, and many of the game’s most powerful hitters began doping in an effort to improve their performance.
However, steroid use is prohibited in nearly every sport, and the players were actually using a wide variety of drugs, some of which could easily pass doping tests. It may have worked temporarily, but cheating always comes to light in the end, and Barry was at the forefront of the trial regarding the use of steroids in professional sports.
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Barry Bonds, After He Used Drugs
A steroid is a drug that accelerates muscle growth, and as long as the drug is used in cycles, the gains can be maintained. Muscle fibers at the surface are ruptured by steroids, allowing for the development of new muscle. This is in contrast to the conventional wisdom that new muscle tissue must grow by breaking the muscle’s belly.
The steroid user is able to train for longer, experiences less fatigue during and after, and recovers more quickly. Athletes who use the drug gain an unfair advantage because they are more resilient and can return to competition more quickly.
Barry Bonds took full advantage of his steroid use to play at a high level in professional baseball, a sport that requires quick recovery due to the demands of frequent travel and back-to-back games.
In 2002, Barry reached his massive size. He could consistently hit home runs because his biceps were so massive and his strength was so great. Even after the BALCO scandal broke in 2003, people still attributed the player’s success to his unusually high level of talent. Barry was a focal point of the inquiry because of his lies to the grand jury.
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Barry’s strength coach, Greg Anderson, has been accused of doping the athlete with steroids. Barry seemed to throw his trainer under the bus when he told the grand jury that he used a balm he was told was made of organic oils but turned out to be steroids.
The truth finally came out, and the player hadn’t used steroids since 1998. His drug use has since stained nearly all of his previous successes.