I'll be the first to admit that I do not like Barry Bonds.

I never liked him when he was a Pirate, I never liked him when he played for the Giants, and I sure as hell didn't like him whenever he floated the idea of becoming a Yankee.

As far as punishing Bonds, Major League Baseball has no right in punishing the "new home run king". Legally at least.

You see, Bonds is a crafty man, or so he thought. By opting out of the players union, Bonds became a one man marketing dream.

If you want Bonds in a video game (approved by Major League Baseball and the Players Union) you have to negotiate with him directly. If you want him to appear on your baseball card, contact Bonds' agent, not the Players Union. If you want to film a public service announcement with Bonds and one hundred other ball players, you'll get the ball players, but you'll have to pay for Bonds.

But, by opting out of the Players Union, Major League Baseball will never have to worry about punishing Bonds.

He punished himself.

Companies like 2kSports and EA Games refuse to deal with Bonds, and pay unrealistic sums of money to use his likeness in their baseball franchises. Instead, gamers have to deal with a forty year old white guy who bats and throws right handed, and who
answers to the name of John Dowd. All his stats are set to zero, and there is no record of the all-time home run leader throughout any aspect of the games. If you play with the San Fransisco Giants, you're basically left with a forty year old rookie, making eighteen million dollars.

Bonds punished himself by making it almost impossible to remember him. Baseball card companies, already strapped for cash (dying industry) have a hard time justifying negotiations with Bonds and company.

By opting out of the Players Union, Bonds punished himself. He doesn't have the backing of one of the most powerful unions in the United States when he appears
before court. Any deal Major League Baseball strikes with the government, leaves Bonds out in the cold. His arrogance and foolishness could lead to his eventual imprisonment.

So, you ask again, should Major League Baseball punish Barry Bonds?

No. I think he's done enough.