08/09/07 — With an asterisk: Don’t let your babies grow up to be that kind of ballplayer

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With an asterisk: Don’t let your babies grow up to be that kind of ballplayer

OK, so there is a new home run recordholder. And although there was lots of cheering when Barry Bonds smashed the winning shot that would catapult him over Hank Aaron’s long-held mark, there was a bit of taint to the achievement.

Bonds is still plagued by the performance-enhancing drugs controversy — and his refusal to take part in the investigations.

So, forever, his record will be accompanied by an asterisk, a doubt, a question.

Barry Bonds might be the greatest player in the history of baseball — and drugs might not have played a factor in his incredible success.

But the fact that he refuses to take away that asterisk — and the evidence that continues to dog his achievement — makes many wonder if there really should be a new home run recordholder.

Sports is entertainment these days. The personalities and their exploits take up as much ink as their performance on the ballfield.

What makes today’s athletes so much less interesting than those of the storied early years is that courage and class seem to have flown out the window.

Bonds seems to be one of those spoiled “stars” who cares less about how he achieves the record than just making the mark in the book.

It makes you wonder if Bonds should ever expunge the record of a man who broke barriers and achieved greatness simply on his own with a bat and a ball.

In the end, Bonds will get his glory ... and his record. But we should all make sure that we also teach our children that a record achieved without honor is nothing more than a mark in a book.

It is a life lived with class, style and honesty that makes a man a legend and a role model to emulate.

There might be a new home run record-breaker, but there is still only one home run king. Bonds will have to earn the other title — and it won’t be with a bat or ball.

Published in Editorials on August 9, 2007 11:33 AM