Barry Bonds did not do it! Well, maybe he did cheat, but like Bud Selig said, he is “innocent until proven guilty.”

During the All-Star Game break Bonds defended himself on Fox Television Network.

“I feel sad about somebody that judges another person over a third-party’s [opinion]. You’re allowing that person to dictate your opinions about me. And that’s sad for me.”

That may not be a strong defense, but he raises a good point: the majority of his critics are third parties. They repeat what they hear, not what they know from experience.

Curt Shilling is a prime example. He criticizes Bonds, but what does he know? Has he ever played with him? He is basing it all on third party information, just like many others who judge Bonds prematurely. Some who have played with Bonds have negative comments about him, and that is relevant first-hand information, but their comments have to be taken in stride with the positives as well.

Jim Leyland, his former manager, says, “We’re very close and I have the utmost respect for him…I’ll always be one of the guys that’s very happy for Barry”

When people take time to rationally consider what Bonds has accomplished, they actually realize that he is not as fake as it seems.

Take his size for instance. He may be bigger than he was in his rookie season, but no one can verify that it is due to steroids. He has played Major League Baseball for twenty-two years. Of course, he is going to grow over that time period if he lifts weights. Someone cannot accurately compare a photo of him from his rookie season to another from this season. They would have to go year-by-year. In that case, Bonds’ growth seems more authentic than advertised.

Even if he did juice, fans must consider that it takes a skilled baseball player to do what he does. Steroids may help the baseball go further, but they do not help the batter connect. Bonds must be a talented player to do what he does.

Joe Buck, a Fox Television Network analyst reminds everyone, “It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Bonds has added all of these home runs to what was already a Hall of Fame career.”

Hopefully, Bonds did not take steroids, but either way, too many fans judge him when he has not yet been convicted. Even Bud Selig gave Bonds that right. These fans are basing their judgments on weak sources, and in doing so, they are hurting the game, because too much focus is being given to an unproven negative view. If Bonds did take steroids it would be a big deal, but until otherwise proven, fans should simply enjoy the chase.