After Jose Bautista hit a home run on Friday, and then two home runs off of David Price on Saturday, Joe Maddon had an interesting comment. He invoked the one name that Bautista and the Blue Jays probably don’t want to hear: Barry Bonds…
“He’s very reminiscent of Barry Bonds in 2002,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He looks like that where every time he swings the bat, it looks like it’s going to go over the wall. Just tremendous plate disciple, very aggressive swing. It’s an understatement to say that he’s locked in right now. He’s hitting as though there’s a league above this one.”
Well, we all know how 2002 Bonds turned out.
Now, Maddon is not trying to imply that Bautista is a steroid user. But in this era, Maddon is walking down a dangerous path.
When Bautista hits 54 home runs last year, after hitting 59 home runs, in the four previous years combined, eyebrows are raised. And now this year, he is once again leading the AL with seven longballs after his weekend performance.
Is Bautista juicing? Who knows. And quite frankly, we don’t really care anymore. But if people use Maddon’s quote to bolster their own speculation, Bautista only has Major League Baseball and his fellow baseball players to blame.