Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How Many Victim Cards Does Bonds Have Up His Sleeve?

Barry must have really long sleeves chock full of victim cards, because now he's enlisted his brother, Bobby Bonds Jr., to cry to the media about how unfairly Barry Bonds is being treated by the media and general public. Employing family members as kevlar vests seems to be a common practice for Bonds, who threw his son out in front of him in March 2005 to try to evoke sympathy.

The cheap ploy didn't work then, either. But Bonds has dragged his brother into this fray nonetheless:

Bobby Bonds Jr. does not know for certain if his famous older brother took steroids, but he believes Barry deserves better treatment from Major League Baseball as he approaches Henry Aaron's career home run record.

In an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger, Bobby Bonds Jr. says he's bothered that commissioner Bud Selig has not committed to being present when Barry hits home run Nos. 755 and 756 -- and that Aaron has said he'll be elsewhere playing golf when the moment comes.

"Especially Hank Aaron," Bonds Jr., whose late father played in the same era as Aaron, told the newspaper. "Hank Aaron does not even want to support Barry. Being a black man going through what he went through in the past and not supporting my brother, it kind of makes me look at him like, 'Are you serious, brother? Are you serious?' "

Okay, first of all, Hank Aaron would probably tell Bobby Bonds Jr. that he is most definitely not his brother. Unlike Bonds Jr.'s real brother, Aaron has integrity, a drug-free system, and testicles. So Bonds Jr. should probably stop calling him by that term, or at least get some glasses.

"Cut the steroids out, just look at my brother as a human being. He stole bases, he ran, he caught the ball," Bonds Jr. told the Star-Ledger. "It's so hard to justify what's going on with baseball and how they're treating him."...

So what about his 42-year-old brother? Barry Bonds, who holds baseball's single-season home run record and is 10 homers shy of tying Aaron's career record of 755, was a focal point of the BALCO investigation, but he has never failed a drug test and has repeatedly said that he has never knowingly used steroids.

"Everyone asks," Bobby Bonds Jr. told the Star-Ledger. "The only thing I tell them is the same thing I tell everyone, 'I don't know if he took [steroids]. Even if he did, he wouldn't have told me.' "

I'm guessing this topic doesn't come up much around the Thanskgiving dinner table.

"I'm really proud of my brother," Bobby Bonds Jr. told the Star-Ledger. "It's unfortunate that reporters take it to another level and not just look at him as a human being who loves the game. I don't care if it's negative or positive, at least in the history books, they're going to know our last name!"

Yep, it will be right there in the books--after the word "Junk."

Look, in all seriousness, it is pretty bad form for Bobby Bonds to impugn Hank Aaron for Aaron's personal stance not to overtly support Barry Bonds. It's Aaron's decision, and it's equally smarmy to try and appeal to Aaron over the issue of race rather than address the issue of character, the latter of which Bonds and Aaron don't appear to have much in common. Aaron probably feels as conflicted on this issue as the rest of us. But it's his call. And like the rest of baseball is finding as we speak, it's hard to rally celebratory support around a flag when the flag is fraying around all the edges and has gaping holes in the middle.

Go ahead and enjoy the game when your brother breaks the record. As a family member, I'd expect as much, and that's fine. But don't try and drag the rest of us into it if we've chosen not to come.


Trolley Dodger said...

Yeah, never failed a drug test... except for the amphetamine test he failed last year and tried to blame on a team mate.

And the steroids he never took... except the ones he said he took "accidentally."

Steve Sax said...

Hey Robert. I liked your take on this as well over on TD. This guy never ceases to amaze me. If Bonds had a real publicist, and an ounce of personality, his home run chase might actually be interesting. Instead, it's a non-event.