You guys just want more stories about me, Barry Bonds said Saturday, in response to a news report that a federal grand jury is closing in on an indictment against him. “It’s unreal. It’s unbelievable I have to support my family this way.”
Actually, Barry, you don’t. You could call it quits now and save all of us the awkward embarrassment that will come when home run No. 756 finally lands. I’m quite confident you’ve stockpiled enough cash to support your family for another three or four lifetimes, depending, of course, on how much you had to pony up to keep the mistress that would eventually help destroy your life. Yes, that would be the same mistress in whom you confided as you seethed over the attention Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were receiving during the great home run race of 1998 — right about the time you made the decision to pump your body full of drugs and chase the glory that you believed the two long-ballers were stealing from you.
More stories about you, Asterisk? Not exactly. Asked privately, I’d be willing to bet that most reporters and columnists would agree with the millions of fans across the country who wish they’d never have to read or hear another word about you. Your fraudulent and illegal pursuit of the most hallowed record in all of sports, currently held by one of the most dignified and beloved men to ever wear a uniform, is not something we enjoy covering. We write about you solely to remind baseball fans everywhere that the history they are about to witness is not truly historical.
One of the most comical aspects of the circus that your career has become, Juicer, is the disdain with which you continue to treat baseball writers NOT named Fainaru-Wada or Williams. Sure, you never miss an opportunity to slam the groups of reporters who come to you for comments daily, but you are curiously silent when the subject of “Game of Shadows” comes up.
“I don’t care what you guys write. You can say whatever you want,” you ranted to the legion of writers following you on Saturday. “Half of ya’ll say you hate me anyway, so I don’t know why you’re here … so if you truly do believe half of the things you write, I don’t know why you want to talk to me anyway.”
Yep … sure feels good to tell those good-for-nothings off, doesn’t it, Barroid? Accuse them of sensationalizing everything about you, of having a personal agenda and all the rest — can’t blame you a bit. But what I don’t understand, Human Pincushion, is why neither you nor your attorneys have ever had anything to say about the authors of “Game of Shadows.” Why?
You assail writers at every turn who have done nothing but chronicle the sideshow that was once an honorable baseball career, but two guys put together an entire book detailing every phase of your steroid abuse, without ever using the words “alleged” or “reportedly” and you say nothing? No libel lawsuits? No press conferences to refute the mountains of evidence against you presented to the fans whose adoration you so deeply craved when you plunged your first syringe into your backside?
Perhaps there’s more to it than just a runaway band of media assassins trying to take down an honest ballplayer on the brink of history, isn’t there, Big Head? Perhaps the warehouse full of evidence neatly categorized for easy consumption in “Game of Shadows,” which came largely from the grand jury testimony currently being used to prepare your indictment, stops you from crying foul, eh, Rager? Perhaps the truth, of which we are all keenly aware, but that you try desperately to ignore each time you step in the box or look at a reporter, is what keeps you and your lawyers away from civil court.
You’re three home runs away from breaking the all-time record, Needle Tracks. So in case I don’t get a chance to tell you, when you touch the plate and point to the sky after the third of them, I want you to know … that we know. We know.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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