(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)
Did you hear the news Tuesday? We media types finally did it. After all the back room, clandestine meetings and years of plotting, our best-laid plans have finally come together.
We have ruined Barry Bonds and his family.
I haven’t mentioned this before because the first rule of the Bury Bonds Brigade is, you don’t talk about the Bury Bonds Brigade. But now since Barry let the cat out of the bag, I guess it’s ok.
In case you were rubbing some flax seed oil on one of your injured extremities and missed it; On Tuesday afternoon Bonds held an impromptu press conference and admitted that his knee injury might keep him out the entire season. (The same knee injury that occurred when he supposedly bumped into a training room table, which seems a little weird. By bump did he mean violently kick, or do the Giants have adamantium coffee tables with razor sharp edges in their clubhouse?)
Bonds was despondent, a little bit melodramatic, and to increase his lead in the Father of the Year race, forced cameramen to include his son in the shot so, “everyone could see the pain this was causing his family”.
Then he proceeded to blow years of intel and undercover work by revealing it was all the media’s doing. Apparently, he found out about our insidious plot to make him the single season home run leader, league MVP, inject, rub, or otherwise forcibly ingest performance enhancers, be subpoenaed before the grand jury, and inflict him with a potential career-ending knee injury on the eve of the first year of stringent steroid testing.
I’ll say one thing for him: He must have access to some really good painkillers.
How else could you stand before the world and blame your troubles on the media? Isn’t that becoming a little like “my dog ate it”, “my alarm clock didn’t go off”, or “I swear I didn’t know that was your sister”?
What’s even more mind boggling to me is that he seems like he’s eating the same stuff he’s shoveling. He truly acts as if he believes the tripe spewing from his mouth.
But actions speak louder than allegations, and Barry’s actions are preaching a sermon.
He complains that the media has made his family suffer and his children cry, but who was front and center Wednesday, ordering cameramen to go wide so his oldest son would be under the glare of the lights?
I’m by no means a perfect parent, but what kind of lessons is Bonds teaching his children? I’ll tell you, he’s teaching them to blame their problems on other people, to lie and to cheat. Not to mention how to be surly, abrasive, and combative.
If he would just own up to what he has done, the media spotlight would lessen, and his family and sport would be better off for it.
Just like if Mark McGwire had been a man and admitted what he did, instead of saying he “didn’t want to talk about the past”.
How convenient. I’d bet that if anyone had asked him about chasing the home run record or playing in his first World Series or any of his All-Star appearances, he wouldn’t shut up.
He also said it wasn’t for him to decide if taking steroids was cheating. What a role model. He should have just shown up with a shirt that read, “I took steroids and hit a lot of homers, and all I got was this Congressional hearing”.
I guess that was better than Sammy Sosa though, who suddenly forgot how to speak English during the hearings.
But back to Bonds, Oliver Stone and I were talking about how convenient it is that Bonds might miss the entire year the season they start testing for steroids and releasing the names of positive test results.
If he is out the year, he can come back next season with less weight, muscle mass and a smaller hat size, and claim that his knee injury kept him from working out.
And in the meantime, he can divert attention by unveiling the rest of our plots to destroy popular athletes in other sports.
He better act fast because ‘Operation Kobe Krash’ is about to become a reality.