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Someone asked me to pose this question to the readers of McCovey Chronicles: Why do we still root for Barry Bonds? When Bonds limped out to a rousing ovation on Opening Day, what were we all thinking as we clapped and screamed our approval?

My answer comes in two parts:

  1. Steroids are bad for you. That's where the discussion is supposed to end. But how bad? Like, smoking bad? Mixing heroin and cocaine bad? Prozac bad? Red meat bad? Asthma medication bad? I don't know, and there aren't too many straight answers out there. I look at the situation as a guy trying to hang on to his youth, and using the means a whole lot of his peers were using to do so. He didn't start the fire. It's disappointing, but nothing to make me forget about the second point.
  2. In chart form (click this link to see the full-sized and legible chart):

    I can't just forget the hope the guy brought to the baseball fans of San Francisco. The joy and the pride. All of it. In one decade we went from watching the team almost play home games at Tropicana Field, to watching one of the best players of all-time help our team win a bunch of games. That's not something I can just dismiss.

I really need you to chime in on this, per the request of the original question-asker. Why do you still cheer for Barry Bonds?