Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bye bye Barry

Watching Barry Bonds’ impromptu interview on ESPN yesterday was like scraping your forehead with broken glass. Here sits perhaps the greatest baseball player of all time telling an ESPN reporter how his alleged persecution has finally gotten the best of him.

“I'm tired of my kids crying. You wanted me to jump off a bridge, I finally did. You finally brought me and my family down. ... So now go pick a different person”

Bonds continued to rant like a down trodden and spoiled child who had been denied the ’67 Mustang he’d wanted for his birthday. He continually railed against the media for their dogged pursuit over the last couple years.

This latest spiel is just another in a long line of bitterness from one of the most enigmatic sports figures in history. Only Bobby Knight can equal Bonds’ petulance displayed towards the media and fans.

Not since the days of Ty Cobb have we seen an athlete who so brazenly thumbs his nose at the very people responsible for his fame, notoriety, and money. In an infamous episode Cobb went into the stands and pummeled a boisterous and admittedly critical fan. Thing is, this fan had one arm and Cobb gleefully beat the tar out of him. Now Bonds has never physically assaulted any body but he’s time and again turned his back on his fans.

To say that his relationship with the media has been contentious would be putting it mildly. The only reason Bonds tolerates the media is because it’s a necessary evil of his job. Not that the media is virtuous or even kind and fact is they can be a den of vipers but if you foster at least an amicable relationship with them your job as a public figure is made infinitely easier.

Yes Bonds has been the most scrutinized athlete over the last three years but the bed he now lies in was made of his own doing. It’s a shame such a gifted athlete has to act like such a surly pain in the ass. His physical talents are unquestionable and had he acted like a decent human being he might possibly have gone down as the most revered athlete this side of Michael Jordan and Muhamid Ali.

If Bonds goes down for steroid use he deserves his fate. If the fire that Bonds burned across the sky in his 19 years in baseball is suddenly extinguished then, once again, he deserves his fate. If Bonds has indeed played his final game I, for one, shall not shed a single tear.