Barry Bonds is a mean-spirited, disrespectful, cold SOB who is a dreadful role model, has been linked to illegal use of steroids, is perceived as a deadbeat dad, has not even donated a pittance of his megamillions to members of his family who literally are homeless, and is loathed by many who’ve had the displeasure of meeting him.
In the decades I’ve covered baseball, I’ve never enjoyed any of my encounters with Bonds and I’ve never heard a kind word about him.
And yet, because he has launched balls over fences with frequency over the years, he is being tolerated and even pampered these days bya major-league organization, the San Francisco Giants.
Granted, the Giants are in it for themselves, too, as they realize Bonds’ pursuit next season of Henry Aaron’s career home-run record would generate at least some enthusiasm andincreased income from ticket and merchandise sales.
I wonder if he’s worth the fuss, though.
While the Giants have offered to give Bonds one more contract — worth $15.8-million US for 2007, and including incentive clauses that could raise the value of the deal to $20 million — he has in turn whined, complained, grumbled and bitched that the package does not contain enough perks.
And so, even though no other club would guarantee him comparable money at this stage of his career, there’s a holdup and the contract has not yet been signed. Bonds keeps coming up with new business he’d like to include in his deal. As I understand it, he wants new vehicles, reclining chairs with built-in massage units for his locker area, upgrades to his homes in the States and in the Bahamas, jewelry, and private shower space in the clubhouse to ensure the media wouldn’t be able to question him about matters he’d rather not discuss (including, presumably, future news about his steroid use, which he knows would taint his homer numbers).
And, oh yes, he also is demanding clubhouse access for his personal staff — perhaps even convicted steroid dealer Greg Anderson.
The Giants are scratching their heads, trying to appease Bonds. What they ought to do is withdraw their offer to him.
•In the NFL, Bill Cowher might leave Pittsburgh to coach Miami, and that’d be bad news for Ricky Williams. Cowher never hid his disdain for the running back or his grass-smoking background.
Don’t expect Williams to be back in the CFL, though. While he likedlife here, he’s no longer wanted by the Argonauts or by any other CFL club.
•And please read my .