Baseball made its own bed

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

Bud Selig will likely call for a probe into the alleged steroid use of slugger Barry Bonds, but the real investigation should be focused on the baseball commissioner himself and all the other major league bigwigs who created this whole ugly mess.

If the authors of a new, extremely-detailed book are to be believed, Bonds has been a regimented steroid user for quite some time. This is hardly a shock to baseball fans, who watched Bonds' head grow to the size of a pumpkin at around the same time he started hitting every second ball into McCovey Cove.

These new allegations simply confirm for many fans what they believed already -- that Bonds, one of the greatest home run hitters and outfielders the game has ever known -- is a fraud.

Even this new book, Game of Shadows, is not concrete proof of steroid abuse by Bonds, but it is pretty damning. It's also a serious indictment of the game itself, a sport which encouraged and embraced pharmaceutically-enhanced home run races for the better part of a decade.

Remember "Chicks dig the long ball?"

Remember how the baseball world stood still when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were assaulting the true home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961?

Few people believe that was a clean race. Bonds apparently didn't either, and it's suggested in the book that he started his steroid regimen in response to McGwire's 70-homer season in 1998.

Bonds banged out 73 homers a couple of years later and now has his sights set on an even more venerable home run standard, the career mark held by Hank Aaron.

As all this goes on, the people who run baseball wring their hands at the realization that their record books are as phony as a three-dollar bill. Their Hall of Fame in 10 years could include an entire pharmaceutical wing.

Despite all these allegations, the records will likely endure -- Aaron may even one day have to stand on the field and congratulate a double-dealing home run king -- because baseball didn't actually ban performance-enhancing drugs until 2002.

The only hope is that Bonds -- or the The Un-Natural as he's being called these days -- will come clean and simply walk away without sullying any more of the game's history.

Otherwise, blood will remain on the hands of the people who run the sport and no amount of washing will make them clean.

Their punishment is to sleep in the bed they've made.

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