This is an interesting article on Barry Bonds with quotes from David Ortiz.
I think Bonds most likely did steroids, although I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty.
But, in an era where as many as 75% of the hitters and pitchers could have been using steroids by some accusations, nobody was doing what Barry was doing. He was still in a league of his own. So what do we say? Did he have better steroids than everyone else?
For argument sake, let's say that in 2000, 2001 and 2002 he was definitely using steroids. Let's be extreme and wipe those seasons from the record books. Without those seasons the guy still has 576 home runs and an OPS over 1.000 for his career. He's still one of the top 5 players ever even with those three years completely wiped out.
Or let's be extremely strict and say that from 1995-2005 he was definitely using steroids and that they alone gave him a 25% increase in performance. Even if for those 10 years he received a 25% increase in performance (which I think is extreme) then he would still have 632 home runs right now. Extend that 25% increase to his entire career and he still would have 558 home runs. These are ridiculous because I doubt anyone believes that steroids could have made that significant of an impact on his career in an era where the pitchers he was facing may have been just as juiced up.
I think that he most likely did steroids, and I think he's a jerk and a "bad guy." Still, I think he's one of the greatest to ever play the game and without any help from steroids would still be in the top 10 players ever, and should receive the respect from the MLB that other players of this era and of the past have received.
Therefore, I think it's a shame that Bud Selig is trying to further make Bonds the poster boy for the steroid era and attempting to separate himself from any connection to the mess. He should not only be at the game when Bonds breaks the record, but should be applauding his performance as one of the greatest to ever play the game (even without any performance enhancers). If anything, he's the villain who allowed the situation to escalate and escalate without doing anything about it but letting his pocketbook fill up with cash. If Bonds did do steroids, I hold Selig as much responsible for allowing and encouraging it as anyone. It's highly doubtful that Bonds is using any banned substances now anyways, so denying him respect by skipping the game would do little good for the sport.
I'm in no way defending the use of steroids. I personally think they are highly dangerous (especially to youth) and that we should have extremely strict rules to weed them out of baseball completely, so don't twist my words to make it sound that way...