Barry Bonds has been at the center of controversy for the better part of 20 years, and it likely will follow him forever.
Major League Baseball’s home run king remains out of the Hall of Fame due to his ties to performance-enhancing drugs, but plenty of voters also left him out due to his character.
Bonds has maintained that, aside from taking the BALCO “cream,” that he never took steroids and he never failed a drug test.
He was, though, found guilty of obstructing justice in 2011 during an investigation into a steroid supplier. His conviction was overturned in 2015.
But the one notion about himself that Bonds does say is true is he wasn’t the most approachable teammate.
“I wasn’t the best clubhouse guy, that’s for damn sure, but on the baseball field, I took my walks, I took my hits, I did everything I could for my teammates to have the opportunity to do his job,” Bonds said on the “R2C2” podcast with Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia.
Ruocco thought it was a stunning admission, so when he asked Bonds why he said that, Bonds was truthful.
“Because it’s a business, and people don’t understand that I took it as a business,” Bonds said. “Most teams, everyone thought I was being a d—, but I really — I wasn’t at all. I love you, I respect you, I would help you in any aspect.
“I’m not gonna tell you what I do because we don’t know how long we’re teammates. And in a teammate factor is that you’re going to another team market to be traded, and then you’re gonna tell someone what I told you …
“Ain’t no way in hell I’m ever telling anybody what I do. I’m not gonna tell you what I see. I’ll give you general conversation to help you, but I don’t know how long we’re gonna be teammates. And this is a business, so I protect my business. I wasn’t an a–hole, I wasn’t trying to be a d—. It was just, ‘Hey Barry, what do you see?’ I see a pitcher. ‘What does he throw?’ Balls and strikes. And they’re like, ‘Why do you gotta be a d—?’ And I’m like, ‘Why are you taking it personal?'”
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HBO announced last month it has launched production on a documentary that will highlight Bonds, who continues to be one of the most polarizing and notorious baseball players of all time.
Bonds won seven MVPs en route to his record 762 home runs, which many feel is illegitimate. His 73 homers in 2001 and as his 232 walks, 120 intentional passes and .609 on-base percentage in 2004, remain single-season records. His No. 25 is retired by the Giants.
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