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Question of the day: What do you make of Barry Bonds praising Mark McGwire for admitting his steroid use? [Updated]

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Four reporters from the Tribune Co. weigh in with their opinion. Check back throughout the day for more responses. And please feel free to tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.

Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

It makes me all warm and fuzzy to hear that Barry Bonds is "proud" of Mark McGwire for admitting his use of steroids and returning to Major League Baseball as the hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for Bonds to do the same thing.

No. 1: He wouldn't. Bonds is a proud, stubborn and defiant man who isn't going to do anything that smacks of surrender to the will of the masses.

No. 2: He can't. He went before a grand jury and swore that he never knowingly used illegal performance-enhancing drugs, so a public admission now would bolster the federal government's long-standing perjury indictments against him.

Bonds' case is under appeal and might go to trial late this year, but I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for that, either.

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

[Updated at 9:25 a.m.: Not much.

What Bonds says about McGwire has no relevance to the main issue for Bonds, which is making sure he says absolutely nothing that the feds could use against him.

The feds are on the run, desperate to prove that Bonds lied when he says he didn't know he had taken steroids.

It's not that anyone believes Bonds, or that anyone believed McGwire. Yet the feds are scrambling for evidence, and the discipline that helped Bonds prosper among the haters is the same discipline that enables him to answer questions about McGwire without saying a single word about his own steroid issue.

After all these years, McGwire might be here to talk about the past, but Bonds is not. McGwire spoke up only because he needed to in order to get a job in baseball.

Bonds talked about working with Ryan Howard last winter, so maybe Bonds might want back into baseball someday, and perhaps he'll speak up then. For now, he's perfectly happy to let McGwire do the talking.]

Stephen Miller, The Morning Call

[Updated at 9:52 a.m.: So Barry Bonds is proud of Mark McGwire for admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs? Yawn.

It’s hardly a surprise that Bonds, who has denied numerous allegations about his own alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, would support McGwire, one of his contemporaries. More often than not, players stick together.

Bonds was simply answering a question directed at him during a rare public appearance in San Francisco, but his response barely rates as newsworthy. The more interesting comments he made during his six-minute interview session were that he worked with Phillies slugger Ryan Howard over the winter and he would not rule out coaching in the majors at some point.

Should Bonds ever decide to coach, he would have to deal with the same questions McGwire faced when returning to uniform. That would be a moment worth watching.]

Mike Kellams, Chicago Tribune

[Updated at 1:47 p.m.: Unfortunately, loss of voice is not a side effect of steroid use. Thus Barry Bonds was capable of speaking when reporters cornered him on Sunday in San Francisco, eliciting the vague, open-to-interpretation line about being “proud’’ of Mark McGwire. He failed to say for what, exactly, although not fingering other steroid users is among the most logical possibilities.

Bonds’ comments, for the most part, should be dismissed as defensive gibberish. The most interesting thing he said, I believe, was that he worked with the Phillies’ Ryan Howard before spring training.

“I coached him a little bit and he’s doing very, very well and hasn’t said one thing about me yet,’’ Bonds said. “But I love him and I’m glad he’s doing well.’’

Give Howard credit for not mentioning the connection to Bonds, baseball’s most infamous cheat. His mistake was allowing Bonds’ tentacles to reach him.]

Photo: Barry Bonds. Credit: Monica M. Davey / AFP.

 
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