(Bonds, shown in 2007, leading a professional Eddie Vedder impersonator to Pac Bell security)
Telling long-time confidant Barry M. Bloom (the
Marc Berman Ahmad Rashad to his Stephon Marbury Michael Jordan) that “if you vote on your assumptions or what you believe or what you think might have been going on there, that’s your problem,” Barry Bonds seems fairly certain he won’t be elected to baseball’s Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility. And while Bonds insists his failure to find gainful employment in 2008, “shouldn’t have ended that way”, he does show the tiniest hint of regret over what he claims was a carefully constructed persona. From MLB.com (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
MLB.com: Anything you would have done differently?
Bonds: As far as handling the media, I would have done a lot of things differently. The character I created on the field was a different person than the way I was off the field. It was that person that made me perform. It gave me the push to perform. Whether you hated me or loved me, you came to see that person or that show. And with the media, I needed space. When the first thing that happens after you get to the clubhouse every day is questions about the chase or how you feel, I’ll admit it now that it was hard for me to deal with and I could’ve done it a lot better. That’s a lot for one individual. You’re going to snap. It’s hard when you have to do that every day for 162 days. Add Spring Training. It would be tough for anyone.
MLB.com: What are your thoughts on how the Clemens trial wound up?
Bonds: I was overwhelmed with happiness for Roger. Very happy. Roger is a great athlete and a great pitcher. I think Roger Clemens is telling the truth, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. He’s acquitted. Now everyone leave him alone, let him be. He went through the system just as I did and he deserves respect and forgiveness and move on. We have sacrificed our lives and bodies for this game. We have beat our bodies up for something that we love to do. OK? They accused him. They accuse whoever. Who cares? He was acquitted. He deserves the same rights everyone else does. And he deserves the same respect he’s always had. I love him. He was one of the greatest pitchers I’ve ever faced. He’s always been a good friend of mine. I will go to the end of the earth for that man.
MLB.com: And what about your legal situation?
Bonds: Mine is on appeal for obstruction of justice. So what? I have to say I’m a felon of obstruction of justice because that is my title. That is it and hopefully (the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) will see the light and overturn it. And if they don’t, I will accept what my punishment was and will have to move on. But I would like for those same people to respect me in the same fashion. I went through that system just like a lot of people have done. I fought for what I thought was right. I got a conviction for obstruction of justice. What that means, I don’t understand it. But it is what it is. I accept it. And that’s the end of it.