Does Barry's record chase matter?

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

Witnessing a record-breaking performance is second to none for sports fans, but that experience is a complete bust when a record falls beneath a cloud of controversy.

Case in point: Barry Bonds was just two home runs away yesterday from tying Babe Ruth's career home run record of 714, and yet outside of the San Francisco city limits few seem to care.

Like many, I was caught up in the 1998 season when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa went swinging for the fences in pursuit of the 37-year-old single-season record of 61 homers set by Roger Maris.

When the record finally fell it seemed as though we were witnessing something truly special.

Just three years later, it was rather anti-climactic when a newly-built and buff Bonds stepped up and eclipsed McGwire's record without breaking a sweat.

Thanks to the BALCO scandal, rather than being worshipped as a hero, the 41-year old slugger is being blamed for much of what is wrong with the game today.

Tell-all books cite numerous sources who say they witnessed Bonds use not only steroids but also the undetectable and dangerous human growth hormone. This cocktail, it is alleged, has given him the power we see at the plate, the power that has him shattering records on a regular basis.

The underwhelming response to his current coveted goal is a strong indicator that fans are fed up with the cloak-and-dagger act and want the truth more than they want to see him hit home runs.

Yes, the new rules in baseball are strict. They need to be.

Tainted records in baseball are a bust with purists and fans alike.

The only value of a Barry Bonds home run ball in this day and age would be how controversy equals cash on EBay.


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