Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Love Is Blind, Confirms Barry's Boy

I have a son. At this stage of his life, he thinks I'm the greatest. And I'd like to think in my heart that this will never change, that he will always have faith in me and I will always do what it takes to deserve his faith and respect.

So when I read the article in yesterday's WSJ about Barry Bonds' 21-year-old son, Nikolai, standing up for his father and willing to find loopholes in which to hide, I was struck by conflicting feelings of admiration in the strength in his conviction about his father, as well as disdain for his unbelievable lack of realistic objectivity:

Nikolai, who worked as a Giants batboy for years and had a locker next to his dad's, offered a theory: Murphy may have confused his father's caps with his. Nikolai said he started wearing slightly bigger hats than his father in middle school to accommodate his hair. "I totally believe [a mix-up] is possible," he said. Murphy didn't return calls for comment.

Some witnesses called by prosecutors are people Nikolai once considered part of his family: Steve Hoskins, Barry's former business partner and childhood friend, was a "cool" guy who always made sure Nikolai had his cleats for Little League practice. Murphy, the clubhouse manager, "practically raised me," Nikolai said. Bonds's trainer, Greg Anderson, was Nikolai's snowboarding partner on trips to Aspen. Nikolai said he is grateful to Anderson, who has been jailed for refusing to testify, for not being a "tattle-tale."

"He's one of the greatest men alive," Nikolai said. [...]

Nikolai said the most uncomfortable moment was the testimony of Kimberly Bell, the former mistress, who said his father suffered from sexual dysfunction because of steroid use and sent her threatening voicemails. What bothered him most, he said, was her allegation that his father had many girlfriends.

"I didn't know about these women until now," Nikolai said. "I love my dad and support him regardless, but I have my own feelings about that—I'd never condone that sort of activity, especially towards the mother of my sister, or my mom."

Nikolai said he thinks Bell "made herself look stupid" by simultaneously accusing Bonds of not being able to perform sexually but also saying he had affairs with other women. "For a dude that has all these problems, how does that make sense?" he asked. Bell couldn't be reached for comment. [...]

Although he has been in regular phone contact with his father over the past few weeks, he says the trial never comes up. "Nobody talks about it," he said. [...]

Regardless of the trial's outcome, Nikolai said it wouldn't matter to him what his father did because no substances were illegal in baseball before 2003. He said his father's record-breaking performances couldn't have been a result of steroids, given that he hit a lot of home runs in every season he played. "No substance that you put in your body is going to help you see the ball the way he saw it," Nikolai said.

Judge Susan Illston sent the jury home Monday after a juror fell sick, and the prosecution introduced fresh evidence for the defense to review: a recording of a conversation between Hoskins, the ex-business partner, and Bonds's orthopedic surgeon, Arthur Ting.

Nikolai said he wasn't worried about the tape. "You can make anybody's voice sound like anybody's these days," he said.

Wow. To have that kind of unshakable faith, in the face of such a mountain of evidence to the contrary, is pretty amazing. Or pathetic. Or both. I understand it's his father...but wow.

The article also mentions that Nikolai Bonds "...was arrested after a fight with his mother in December 2009. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vandalism and assault charges last year and says it was a misunderstanding that had nothing to do with his father's ordeal." And that's all I'll say about that.


Orel said...

What a darling, Nikki.