Memo to MLB: Steer Clear of Marketing Bonds

The Weekly Online Poll

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NEW YORK ( -- No marketing, no celebration.

The overwhelming majority of poll respondents say Major League Baseball should not plan marketing around San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds as he draws closer and closer to what many consider the greatest record in sports-Hank Aaron's 755 all-time home runs.

A new book, "Game of Shadows," due out March 27, alleges that Mr. Bonds used a variety of steroids and drugs-including a women's fertility drug-since 1998. Mr. Bonds has hit more than 40% of his 708 career home runs since 1998.

"'Game of Shadows' merely confirms everyone's greatest fear," said Ken Zakel, associated copy editor with MeadWestvaco in Dayton, Ohio. "When Bonds passes Ruth and eventually passes Aaron, baseball will get exactly what it deserves. Baseball will not gain anything from it, and broadcasters and other media will enjoy feeding the public's thirst for scandal. It will have little to do with the game itself."

But Henry Gomez, planning director for Miami Beach-based Abece, points out that baseball's steroid policy was only enacted last year and the drugs in question were not against the rules during the time Mr. Bonds is alleged to have used them.

"MLB can't simply ignore Barry Bonds when he surpasses Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron," Mr. Gomez wrote. "Even if Bonds surpasses Ruth there will still be a lively debate about who was better. ... It's exactly this type of debate that baseball thrives on. And that's why MLB should play up Bonds' achievements, as an invitation to debate."

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