One need not go far to hear the vitriol that people harbor, if not savor, for Barry Bonds. I only have to open my inbox and read emails sent from strangers and my closest friends.
The sixth installment of “Bonds on Bonds” shows the verbal daggers that Bonds faces as soon as he leaves the cushy bubble that is the San Francisco Bay Area. During the Giants road trip last week, fans in Milwaukee and Philadelphia greeted him with sumo costumes, syringes, signs bearing asterisks and more than a few boos.
Fans calling into Philly’s 610 WIP condemn him as a cheater. One caller claims that he is bringing his son to the game because he has an obligation to show him how wrong Bonds is.
Right. (I’m constantly amazed at the lengths people go to show that they hate Bonds yet they can’t stop talking about him let alone keep their eyes off him. For a presence so revolting, it only seems logical to remove one’s self from that person’s proximity, right?)
In the midst of the fans’ rancor, we see Bonds talking to Phillies’ phenom, Ryan Howard, and saying “If you don’t like this [ridicule and jeering], then stay under the radar.”
Considering that Bonds has chosen to televise his daily routine including the ridicule and the jeering, he must like it.
This particular episode featured some of the more bizarre moments in the show’s short run. From Danny Glover speaking in Bonds’ defense to Bonds saying he did advertisements for BALCO’s Victor Conte “out of the kindness of [my] own heart,” these moments left me shaking my head with a wrinkled brow.
Regarding the steroid issue, Glover turns to the race card when he proselytizes, “I’m surprised the black community has not come out to say something about this.” A statement like this made me wish to see him play Sergeant Roger Murtaugh rather than this half-baked version of Jesse Jackson. Call me crazy but I think the black community has greater issues to tackle than launching a PR campaign for a professional outfielder earning $18.5 million per season. Then again, I have to remember that celebrities tend to think that whatever’s on their mind at any given moment is THE most important thing affecting the world and universe as we know it.
Regarding Conte, Bonds continues to prove that he operates in his own universe when he says, “I don’t have any problems with Victor Conte.” He views Conte as a generous man who provided Bonds’ father with protein shakes during his failed bout with cancer. We see snapshots of a smiling Conte. Remember, this is a smiling CONVICTED FELON Conte.
In light of the current grand jury investigation, isn’t a segment like this bound to rile up prosecutors even more? I’m not a lawyer and I never played one on TV, but I’d have to venture a guess that watching this segment would probably piss off one.
Speaking of pissed, Bonds says that he feels exactly that no less than five times in the show. When talking about his struggles at the plate he seethes, “I don’t really get pissed and I don’t ever get pissed but now I’m mad.” We are then shown a few exhibits of his struggles at the plate, including his 0-4 performance/not getting on base for the first time in ‘06 in Milwaukee. “I ain’t no .230 hitter. That’s what I’m concerned about.”
Before the road trip concludes, however, we see his final at-bat in Philadelphia when he sends the ball nearly 500 feet for home run #713. The same fans who lustily booed him for three days remain standing (with many even applauding) and buzzing after the home run.
You have to wonder if that guy and his son (who was brought to the game as a morality lesson) were standing in awe as well.Next week could feature 714 and 715. Stay tuned to see how p.o.’d he is and if he, in his words, “gets back into character” as the hitter he once was.
Keith Larson writes for SFDugout.com because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at email@example.com, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.
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