The comment that should have everybody talking is the one that concluded the fifth installment of “Bonds on Bonds”. Likening his situation to that of Muhammad Ali when the illustrious fighter declared that he couldn’t get justice in his own country, Barry Bonds reflects on the ominous legal storm he’s sure to face. “Regardless of what happens,” he says with a wide grin, “I’m gonna go out there and whup everybody’s ass.”
That’s a pearl if I ever heard one. But what got me going was just how multi-faceted the big fella really is. He’s proud to admit that he’s interested in things he can’t do and photography is the apparent thing he’s set out to master.
And here I went out and spent a couple grand on my wedding photographer back in October ’01! Why didn’t anyone tell me that Barry Bonds is a latter day Ansel Adams!
According to ex-MLB speedster Vince Coleman and his wife Denice, Bonds took thousands of photos at their wedding and they came out better than the ones they hired a pro to do. Coleman jokes, “He missed his calling.”
The levity doesn’t last too long, however, as the show downshifts into that pesky little thing called the grand jury. “People are learning more about personal lives than the game itself,” he laments and the show is quick to show former Cub and Diamondback great Mark Grace standing in Bonds’ corner. “He’s having to take the fall for a lot of guys,” he defends.
But after absorbing the fact that Bonds is more interested in people talking to him about what happens on the field as opposed to off, the show examines his off-field relationship with young Christopher Taub.
To review, Christopher is a cancer survivor who wrote to Bonds telling him to not give up despite undergoing three operations. Bonds insists it was Christopher’s letter that kept him going. “That kid woke me up,” he says.
Now Bonds haters are going to point to this 5 minute segment as purely exploitational. Bonds lovers will insist that he’s a misunderstood teddy bear. Either way, the show’s producers have chutzpah to show the story between the Taubs and Bonds.
As for what he’s doing in the batter’s box, the show gives glimpses that his slow start is beginning to thaw. With homers against the Mets and number 712 on Tuesday, he’s only 3 away from passing Babe Ruth.
While discussing his match-up with the New York Mets closer Billy Wagner last week (and who gave up #711), Bonds is quite demonstrative when it comes to how he feels about his competitive spirit. “It doesn’t matter if you lose the fight,” he proclaims while slamming his fist to emphasize his point, “but just fight!”
Should the legal inquiry turn into something huge, this comment might foreshadow how fierce the fight may very well be.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.
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