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Original Issue


The Reaction

Many thanks to MarkFainaru-Wada and Lance Williams for nailing Barry Bonds and to SI for runningthe excerpt from Game of Shadows (The Truth, March 13). Sports journalism isoverrun with pundits and opiners; it's refreshing to see some investigativereporting. It would be even more refreshing to see Bonds walk away from thegame--that would be his first honorable act in many years.

Bill McKibben,Ripton, Vt.

Did we really needa book to convince us that Bonds and Mark McGwire took steroids? No one in thehistory of any sport gets that much better as they reach an advanced age.What's really disappointing is that on the same day news about this book cameout, baseball lost Kirby Puckett--a man who brought real joy to the game--andfor a split second I wondered if steroids contributed to his death. How do eventhe innocent players regain our trust?

Todd Harlow,Baltimore

I would hate to seecommissioner Bud Selig interfere with Bonds's run at the record, tainted thoughit may be. It would be unfair because it is not clear that Bonds did anythingagainst the rules of baseball. It is also unnecessary because no reasonable fanbelieves that Bonds has not used performance-enhancing drugs. If thecommissioner steps in to prevent Bonds from achieving the record, Bonds wouldbecome a martyr, a role that he does not deserve. Whether Bonds retires with756 or 1,000 home runs, the standard set by Henry Aaron will continue to be thebenchmark by which all power hitters should be judged.

Steve Paul,Wyncote, Pa.

Bonds is not only acheat, he is a rude, spoiled, arrogant, inconsiderate jerk! Did I f------stutter?

J.E. Condron,Hernando, Fla.

After the Black Soxscandal, baseball took the drastic step of hiring a commissioner to clean upand protect the game. Today baseball needs a new commissioner to restoreintegrity and credibility. A most appropriate choice: Henry Aaron.

Jim Killam, Roscoe,Ill.

The Bonds articlefails to consider the possible athletic reasons for Bonds's amazing late-careersuccess: a sudden surge in walks and home run percentage due to a batting eyehoned by a career's worth of experience; the effects of Bonds's finallydedicating himself fully to weight training and nutrition; and his playing insmaller and livelier ballparks.

Steve Marcella,Boca Raton, Fla.

Lyle Alzado dead at43. Florence Griffith Joyner dead at 38. Ken Caminiti dead at 41. Good luck,Barry.

Thomas E. Jennings,Austin

In light of theongoing discoveries in the Bonds steroid case and the latest Enron trial, howperfect is it that Bonds's record-tying 70th home run in 2001 was hit at EnronField? Could someone please check into whether Milli Vanilli sang the nationalanthem that day?

Eric Olson, Folsom,Calif.

Beginning withBonds's first at bat on Opening Day this season, managers should issue him anintentional walk each time he comes to the plate. This should continue untilBonds is shamed into retiring. If every manager did it, competitive balancewould not be compromised, the nonjuiced home run records of Babe Ruth and HankAaron would remain intact, baseball would recover at least a semblance ofcredibility, and the booing would be delicious.

Peter M. Vantine,Atlanta

If you're in amajor league park this season on a night in which a record-setter might explodeoff the bat of Bonds, stand up, turn your back to the field and remain silentthrough the conclusion of the at bat. Do not turn around or reclaim your seatuntil Barry Bonds, Cheat, has disappeared.

Mike McCusker,Franklin Lakes, N.J.

So Chemical Barryis a serial adulterer and woman abuser, uses racist language and leaves a lotof room for improvement as a father, and the big concern is his using steroidsso that he can hit more home runs for longer distances. Isn't this picture awee bit out of focus?

Sandy Hall,Ringgold, Ga.

High SchoolHype

I was horrified bywhat I read about high-end high school basketball in Going Big Time (March 13).There is no reason--in fact, no excuse--for high school kids to travel 13,600miles, play with stress fractures or play nine games in 16 days. This is by nomeans, as that Philadelphia promoter quoted in your story says, "an amazingtime for high school basketball." On the contrary, it is simply aprofitable time for adults who capitalize on the athletic skills ofchildren.

Philip G.Abrahamson, Atherton, Calif.

War Wounds

So theMexican-American community has pressured the Houston 1836 into changing itsname because that was the year that the Mexican army was defeated by SamHouston's troops (Scorecard, March 13). Should we British-Americans now goafter the Philadelphia 76ers?

Rob Sneddon,Somersworth, N.H.

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