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Bonds shouldn't play the game

May 24, 2008

Re "He's out," Opinion, May 18

Dave Zirin should be applauded for advancing the best argument for Barry Bonds' collusion claim. His narrowing the debate to just one unimportant statistic, on-base percentage, almost makes the casual reader feel sorry for the oppressed player. But Zirin, and Bonds apologists, ignore several more telling factors. First, Bonds is an accused perjurer with upcoming court proceedings that affect the integrity of his "records" and the reputation of his sport. Second, he would be an immense distraction to any team, averting any focus from wins and losses to his own demons and controversies. Third, he surrounds himself with enablers and isolates himself physically from his teammates with his exclusive domain in the clubhouse.

Finally, Bonds comes at a huge financial cost -- at least an eight-figure contract. I made several long-distance phone calls protesting to the management of my favorite team when there were rumors that the St. Louis Cardinals were even considering signing the creep this spring.

Neal Osherow

Los Angeles

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