View Full Version : Barry Bonds, A bad man?????

08-23-2006, 02:30 PM
By Jeff Pearlman
Special to Page 2

I've had it.

I've finally had it.

For the past four months, my life has been all Barry Bonds, all the time. That's what happens when you publish a biography, as I did, about one of America's most fascinating figures. You talk and talk and talk and talk and talk some more, finding every two-watt radio station and middle-of-nowhere book shop and six-hits-per-week baseball blog to pitch your wares. You answer questions upon questions, hoping … praying someone will be intrigued enough to fork over $25.95 ($33.50 in Canada!) for your words.

No more.

In promoting "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero," (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060797525/sr=8-1/qid=1156190850/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-2774396-6944809?ie=UTF8) I've done my best to paint the portrait of a conflicted, misunderstood character; of a man who isn't always what he seems and who -- beneath the layers of hostility -- possesses a decent dose of humility. Was I lying in such efforts? Not at all. I honestly believed that, despite the hundreds of former teammates and friends who relayed stories of Bonds' monstrous disposition, there was some good.

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Barry, a nation turns it eyes away from a lonely you.

Again, no more.

Barry Bonds is an evil man. A truly evil man. As a husband, he has cheated on both his wives. As a father, he has been absent and indifferent. As a role model, he has spit at autograph seekers and directed kids to "f--- off." As a Giant, he has held a franchise hostage and refused to help teammates in need. As a blatant abuser of steroids and human growth hormone, he has deprived the game of integrity and turned its record books into mush. For all of those transgressions (and the 1,241,971 others I'm leaving out), Bonds deserves to reincarnate as Buddy Biancalana. In drag.

Amazingly, things have become significantly worse. Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, the two San Francisco Chronicle reporters responsible for "Game of Shadows," are doomed to go to jail if they refuse to spill the beans on the source of Bonds' leaked grand jury testimony. In other words, they will be locked up for presenting the world with the truth about baseball's biggest fraud; about a man willing to pass Willie Mays and Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron by any (illegal) means necessary. Perhaps the two scribes will share a cell with Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer, who -- as a reward for being the slugger's longtime friend -- had also served time for refusing to speak, and is facing more.

I am not writing this column to sell books. I'm writing it to tell Barry Bonds -- to beg Barry Bonds -- to finally do something selfless and righteous:

Come clean.

Heck, your reputation is already dead; your Hall of Fame candidacy as listless as a Hall & Oates chat room. Why not at least preserve some dignity by stepping up and doing your best to keep three men -- one who has dedicated his life to you, two others who have dedicated their lives to bringing you down -- out of prison? Hold a press conference tomorrow. No, today. Tell the world that, yes, you cheated and yes, you set records that rightfully belong to others. "I have been a horrible ambassador for baseball," you'll say, "but that's about to change. I'm planning to dedicate the rest of my life to keeping kids off of drugs. Beginning in 1999, I used performance enhancers to sustain my career. During that time, my forehead grew, my testicles shrunk and I was angrier than a ferret on spin cycle. Don't do it -- never, ever, ever. It's wrong, and I was a fool.

"Furthermore, I would like to urge the government to release Greg and leave Lance and Mark alone. I was the one who cheated and lied, and I'm the one who deserves to be punished. A free press is vital to democracy. Don't blame the messengers -- blame me." (Cue: tears)
Will this get the two scribes out of doing time? Maybe, maybe not -- it depends on the thoughts and interpretations of a grand jury. But it sure wouldn't hurt.

Having interviewed 524 subjects on Bonds, I am convinced beyond a doubt that this press conference will take place … as soon as Smurfs rule the world and George Allen is named NAACP Man of the Year. Until then, I beg you, the American sports fan, to fight against the grave mistreatment of two Pulitzer-worthy reporters who committed the awful crime of doing their jobs.

Confession: When "Game of Shadows" first hit the bookstores, I was, uh, not happy. It was released three weeks before "Love Me, Hate Me," and soared to the top of the New York Times' Best Sellers list. Fainaru-Wada and Williams were my rivals, and they presented me an old-school thumping.

When push comes to shove, however, we are brothers of journalism and survivors of the warped world of Barry. Mark, Lance and I have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours researching, clip-digging, transcribing, hearing the stories, shaking our heads, wondering, "Is he really that bad? Can anyone really be that bad?"

Answer: Yes.

Bonds is a terrible person, but one with a golden opportunity.

Step up, Barry. Be a man. Take responsibility. Set things straight.

No, this truth might not set you free.

But it will surely liberate three others.
Jeff Pearlman is a former Sports Illustrated baseball writer and the author of "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds & the Making of an Antihero."

08-23-2006, 02:55 PM
Great article and I couldn't agree more. I have such an intense dislike for Barry Bonds and those of his ilk - people who destroy the integrity of baseball and who are simply out for fame, fortune, and pursuit of the record books. What gets lost in the months and years of ESPN media attention and their love affair with Barry as he hits a homer into McCovey Cove is the fact that there are genuinely good people in baseball. Unfortunately, the star power of a Barry Bonds masks all that.


08-23-2006, 03:02 PM
I don't know about everyone else, but I worry about putting food on the table and my family. I do not lose sleep over Barry Bonds and his personal issues.

08-23-2006, 04:30 PM
maybe i'm the only one, but it seems to me jeff pearlman has really gone off the deep end.
fainaru-wada and williams intentionally chose to use leaked grand jury testimony. they knew full well the legal implications of their actions and chose to proceed. they then refused to name their source. and yet somehow pearlman manages to say their predicament is bonds' fault? "don't blame the messengers - blame me" he writes as if barry told them to use leaked testimony and then instructed them not to reveal their source to authorities. fainwaru-wada and williams are two grown men and experienced journalists who knew what they were doing. they wrote the book, profited it from it, and now pearlman says bonds is to blame for their predicament and bonds should help them out? it's been awhile since i've read something so completely braindead.
if pearlman disagrees with the legal issues being encountered by the authors, then his beef is with the legal system and not bonds.

while i'm no fan of bonds' and think he's an idiot in his own right, pearlman manages to show he's almost as dumb as bonds by imploring him to help 2 men who "dedicated their lives to bringing" him down and by further imploring him to "be a good guy and come clean". bonds' has as much right as any of us to be surly if thats how he wants to be. it doesn't mean people won't end up disliking him for it, but to implore him to change his personality is idiotic.

three men who sought to add to their personal wealth by dishing out the filthiest dirt they could find about bonds' personal life are now imploring bonds to help them and saying it would be the "responsible" thing to do. classic.

perhaps pearlman should re-direct his advice to "be a man and take responsibility for your own actions" to his pals, mark and lance.


08-23-2006, 04:44 PM
I believe Bonds saw Sosa,McGwire,Palmiero,Caminitti,Dykstra,etc get bigger and get bigger results. I believe he knew he was better than them,all then competed with each other. I believe the guy I disliked the most,Griffey Jr.,turned out to be the best of the class(of the mid 80's players) because he didn't feel the peer pressure to do steriods. His records are true(Like Ripken and Gwynn).

08-23-2006, 06:49 PM
I was a little surprised by this article. I read his book on Bonds that was released a few months ago, "Love Me, Hate Me" and I thought he did an excellent job uncovering Bonds the person. One page, you think Bonds is the biggest a--hole to walk the earth and the next page he does something absolutely wonderful and selfless. I wouldn't have thought he would take such a strong stance on Bonds since he gave such a honest dipiction of Bonds in his book, a book in which he lists as many pros as cons.