That is why I left out the role model inferences. Like it or not, these athletes are role models even if the kids could always look to other places. Kids don't grow up wanting to be a teacher. They grow up wanting to be Barry Bonds. Right or wrong, that's the way it is. Bonds has been guilty of nothing other than occasionally putting his foot in his mouth.
I would like to comment on the "best player of his era" statement. There is no question that Ruth was the greatest player of all time, let alone his era. I don't think that the same can be said of Bonds. Before people call me crazy, remember this. Up until a few years ago, everyone was annointing Griffey as the best player in the game. Then, it was A-Rod. It was not until 2001 that Bonds flew past those guys and the rest of the league. INHO, you need a bigger body of work before you put him in the same class as Ruth.
I will close with this column that I saw. While I might not agree with everything in it, it is food for thought:
"Barry Bonds believes that he is a better player than Babe Ruth? Puh-leaze. It's obvious who the better player is. In 22 seasons, Ruth played in 2,503 games, had a career batting average of .342, hit 714 career homers, drove in 2,213 runs, scored 2,174 runs, and walked 2,056 times. Those are truly mythic numbers. Bonds is in his 18th season. As of Monday, he's played in 2,522 games, has a career batting average of .296, hit 644 home runs, totalled 1,716 RBIs, 1,903 runs and 2,009 walks. The Bambino was also one of the best pitchers of his era, recording 94 wins, 46 losses, and a 2.28 ERA. Bonds has never pitched. Ruth won three World Championships with the Red Sox and four with the Yankees. Bonds has never won a World Championship. In 1920, Babe hit 54 HRs, four more than the total of any other major league team that year. Bonds has never done that, has he? Ruth also revitalized baseball and drew millions of fans to the sport after the 1919 World Series scandal. He played in the Dead Ball Era, as opposed to Bonds, who is playing in a very Live Ball Era. Bonds will never be better than Ruth. Ever. After looking at these facts, would anyone who is not named Bonds disagree? I hope not."