Baseball, unlike the other major sports, is a game deeply entrenched in its history. The fans reminisce about it, define their allegiances by it, and compare and judge all who play the game by it.
That history — the sprawling lineage of American’s game — is sacred to the true baseball fan, hence the reaction when Bonds, Clemens, and all the rest of the guilty parties in this steroid web of baseball infidelity began to artificially alter and ultimately de-legitimize the benchmarks of the game.
Obviously this is a multi-faceted issue as it relates to the pain of the fans. Part of the agony stems from the fact that the cherished records have been distorted irrevocably.
A portion comes from the fact that those involved on every level very obviously lied to the fans on multiple occasions. The public always has an aversion to deceit from their idols, especially when they have some financial stake in how that entity makes its living.
But the true rub, the real source of infuriation for the true baseball fan, is they way that these men blatantly and egregiously disrespected the game.
When the 1986 Mets were all deviating their septa with cocaine, they were indulging in a self-destructive behavior that stemmed from what was viewed as their human weakness to indulgence; a concept many fans can understand. The damage done by these players, and others who find themselves in similar scandal, is self sustained and tragic. It is much harder for the public to feel infuriation towards tragedy.
This is far different from intentionally cheating the game. McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens; these men were blessed with a natural ability that every baseball fans wishes were bestowed upon them.
To quote Jim Rome, they won the “genetic lottery.”
Given these circumstances, it is far more difficult for the public to understand why a player like Barry Bonds, unsatisfied with his already Hall of Fame caliber career, felt he needed to (allegedly) pump himself full of any kind of PEDs he could get his hands on (we only have concrete proof that he failed a drug test for steroids but much more has been alleged) until he became some kind of monstrously freakish, laboratory experiment that juiced out 73 home runs in one season!