How Trevor Bauer compares Barry Bonds' home run race to MLB game today

Jessica Kleinschmidt
NBC Sports BayArea

Sunday night's debut of ESPN's "Long Gone Summer" had us reminiscing on the home run race that put Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and more importantly baseball, on the map in the hot months of 1998.

The documentary was also a reminder that The Steroid Era was alive and well. A quick clip of Giants superstar Barry Bonds during the feature reminded you who would eventually be crowned the single-season and career home run king -- with or without an asterisk. It also was a reminder how he's deserving of an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, just as Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer pointed out on Twitter:

He is. 

This is coming from someone who initially wasn't a fan of the 14-time All-Star slugger.

"I hated Bonds growing up cuz I was a Dodger fan," Bauer told NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday. "But after he retired and I learned more about the game, I realized how ridiculous his career was. I'm a huge fan of greatness so I became a huge fan of his career in retrospect."

Without fail, year after year the debate of whether or not Bonds deserves a trip to Cooperstown grows old and tired. And with just two chances left until he ultimately falls off the ballot, the outlook appears grim.

Bonds' ridiculous résumé includes seven NL MVPs, 762 home runs, 2,558 walks (most in MLB history), 73 home runs in 2001 (single-season record), 12 Silver Slugger Awards and a career .298/.444/.607 slash line. But despite all of that, he's left without a celebratory jacket for 22 years of service, due to his association with performance-enhancing drugs.

[RELATED: Imagining best opponents for Bonds in present Home Run Derby]

But Bauer understands where Bonds was coming from during it all. It plays a role in what's done now.

"It's similar to what goes on in today's game," Bauer said. "Basically every pitcher uses foreign substances … but it's illegal. So if you choose to not use it you're putting yourself and your team at a huge disadvantage. If you choose to play on a fair playing field you're technically cheating. So ... what're you supposed to do? You're given a very hard choice because the people above you choose not to enforce rules."

"There are plenty of guys that used. Some probably in the Hall of Fame that just never got ‘caught,' even though everyone knew they were using. Bonds was just made an example of. He didn't handle things the best by any means though. But those are my thoughts."

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

How Trevor Bauer compares Barry Bonds' home run race to MLB game today originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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