Bonds isn’t so smooth | SierraSun.com

Bonds isn’t so smooth

I can’t believe nobody has pinpointed the key factor in Barry Bonds’ crutch-snuggling, weirder-than-usual interview on Tuesday: The man was doped up.

Bonds has never been remotely smooth when dealing with the media, but watching the sulking slugger babble to reporters after his most recent knee surgery was particularly difficult. It was like a prolonged awkward moment, the strange vibes too powerful to be muffled by the ESPN camera.

Even his son who sat by his side, and who Bonds requested be included in the shot, looked fearful of what would roll out of his father’s mouth next. The painkillers were clearly in control.

Where was the guy whose job is to keep Bonds away from swarming reporters in that situation? Someone should have foreseen the event, and prevented it from happening.

Bonds has proven that he was blessed with the ability to crush any baseball that enters his strike zone, but in no way, shape or form was he blessed with social skills. And as an avid Giants fan, his unintelligible rants are tough to watch – especially his last one.

Speaking mostly of how tired he was, Bonds also made a point to mention how the media bullies him unfairly. He sounded as if he had reached a breaking point, and was prepared to retire on the spot. But that was probably just the drugs talking. He can’t quit now.

According to a 2002 ESPN.com article, Bonds agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract. His salary was $13 million in 2002 and 2003, $16 million in 2004, and for 2005, he’s set to receive $20 million. Then, in the final year of his contract, 2006, the number drops to a measly $18 million.

However hard it may be to support a family on that kind of salary, he did sign the contract. He’s got to play. And how seriously can someone be taken who says, “I don’t mean anything, I’m just tired,” when requested to clarify abnormal statements. Statements like:

“Everybody tries to destroy anything positive or good,” and, “You wanted me to jump off the bridge, and I finally did it,” and, “I’m done.”

He’s not done, and he wouldn’t have been talking that way if it had not been for the drugs clouding his head and enhancing his quirkiness.

Bonds will recover from his surgery, and will soon be swatting home runs into McCovey Cove on a regular basis. He’ll still be uncouth socially, but to less of a degree than on Tuesday.

Sylas Wright is the Sierra Sun sports editor. Reach him at swright@sierrasun.com