Based on my interaction with Barry Bonds, I think he’s a jerk. As a player, he once intentionally stepped on my foot while we raced to reach first base. I got there first, made the out, but ended up with a cut on the side of my foot where his cleats caught me. No doubt it was on purpose.
Another time, at old Mile High Stadium, I struck him out looking at a fastball pretty much right down the middle. He was so surprised that I’d dare throw him a strike with the count full, he couldn’t swing. He just gave me that “how dare you…don’t you know who I am?” look as he walked off the field.
I tried to interview him a couple years later, and he muttered something rude and walked away. Wayne Hagin, who had been the Giants radio broadcaster until moving to the Rockies, grabbed me and pulled me away. “He’s not worth it,” Hagin said, shaking his head. “Go talk to someone else.”
Many many other people, athletes and non athletes, have similar stories. You’ve probably read a lot of them…the ones that were fit for print.
Yes, Barry Bonds is a jerk. He also, in my opinion, used steroids. A lot of them. No athletes get BETTER as they turn 40. Bonds home run records are a direct result of his increased strength and increased longevity because he used illegal performance enhancing drugs.
That said, it’s time for everyone, fans, media – and the government – to leave Barry Bonds alone.
Listen, I’m an advocate of government involvement in sports. Nothing bad has ever happened when the government has gotten involved with hearings on drugs, or anti-trust legislation, the BCS or anything else. I hope there are more congressional hearings upcoming on the mess that is the BCS.
It’s all been positive. That is, until the government began trying to make and example of Bonds and Roger Clemens. Think about it. How much time, energy and taxpayer dollars are being spent on the Bonds trial – with Clemens to come later – to prove that these egomaniacal jerks are also liars? In the end, both will probably be found guilty of perjury and sentenced to a couple of years of probation. Big fat hairy deal. Will that outcome be worth a decade worth of all this fuss?
In the meantime, we get to watch this on-going circus that in a way, is giving the attention junkie Bonds more time in the limelight, which is exactly what he wants.
Everyone – including the government agents that are so hell-bent on nailing Bonds – would be sooooooo much better served if the whole thing just ended and went away. Wouldn’t it be great if we just never had to see or hear from Barry Bonds again? Who is not sick of all this?
Truth be told, all the real damage that could be done to Bonds – and Clemens – has already been done. There will be no Hall of Fame. They’ve been stained forever, their legacies have been shattered. They may think that their continued denials, and their never ending fight to prove that other people “misremembered” are going to restore them to hallowed status, but they are dead wrong. Look no further than Pete Rose to see the future and the truth.
They will never be looked upon the way the game’s greatest players are looked upon, which is the ultimate irony, because both WOULD be in that conversation if they had NOT resorted to using drugs to try to stay in the spotlight a few years longer.
There is no way that Major League Baseball is ever going to change the record book, or pretend that Bonds didn’t hit 73 home runs. His name is in there until someone breaks his records. Whether he goes to jail for 30 days or not is not going to change anything in the long run. Why not just sentence him to obscurity for the rest of his days? That would be the ultimate punishment for an attention junkie.
RIP Barry Bonds, Retire In Peace. Please just go away.