There’s the word. Big as life and twice as ugly. The connotations these days, are almost all bad, brining to mind professional athletes, big-shouldered men in shirts with too many holes, and a glut of head-hung, shame-faced professional athletes making speeches about letting people down. The word has even brought about Congressional hearings, for whatever that might be worth. (I’d like to see a Congressional hearing as to why oil/gas companies are posting record profits, but I have to pay $3.50 a gallon.)

Just in case you did not know, there are plenty of good steroids. They can be prescribed for various medical conditions, and also to recover from surgery.

Nevertheless, when you turn on AM Sports Radio, “steroids” and “baseball” will be the words you hear in conjunction, especially when discussing Barry Bonds, and there are people out there that really hate Barry Bonds. Whether you believe him guilty or innocent, there is no doubt that “hate” is the appropriate word when describing the intense anger directed at Barry Bonds. I think many people wouldn’t slow down if they saw him crossing the parking lot.

Full Disclosure: I cheer for Barry. I hope he breaks the records. Though there is a cloud of evidence, a looming, huge, ominous dark cloud of evidence over his head implicating him, he has yet to fail a test. No matter how many copies Game of Shadows sells, it does not prove Barry guilty. Plus, if you let Rafael Palmeiro into the Hall of Fame, Barry damn well better go in as well.

I won’t go so far as to say that Barry is persecuted because he is black. It does not help his case, but I don’t believe it is the reason he regarded as the demon of modern baseball. It does not help that he is routinely surly and stand-offish. If he had a more amiable public persona, he might only receive the attention that a Roger Clemens gets in relation to steroids. Nevertheless, Bonds is a lightning rod. People are already dismissing his accomplishments, saying that he will only hold the mantle until Alex Rodriguez becomes the home run king. (Never mind the fact that he could run into a debilitating injury, or become injury plagued like another player that was supposed to be in line for breaking the record.) We’ll just wait and see if more rumors circulate about A-Rod.

It’s funny that despite all this concern of steroids, I’ve heard so little about this year’s Tour de France. If you wanted scandal, this was about as good as it gets. Though hard-core cyclists (yes, they do exists) would take a security chain to my head if they read this, cycling is a fringe sport, at best, in the U.S.. Yes, we all love that Lance Armstrong (no stranger to controversy), won the Tour x-number of times despite cancer, but no one really cares enough to sit glued to the television. I would have thought that the separate scandals of Michael Rasmussen and Alexandre Vinokourov would have been huge news, billed as “Roids Go International”. Blood transfusions? How much better does it get? Hell, those weren’t even the only scandals. Yet on this side of the ocean, steroids = Barry Bonds, who has now been linked to the sinking of the Titanic.