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I Keep Asking Myself Why I Dislike Barry Bonds

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I have a problem with Barry Bonds. I dislike the guy’s act entirely, but can’t fully explain it. Now, having read previous articles, you may think you know why I feel the way I do. But I’d bet you’re wrong. Hell, I don’t even know why I feel the way I do entirely. And with as big as baseball is to me, it’s something I think about a lot.

See, I’m completely against steroids in baseball. I don’t really care about steroids in other sports because I don’t care about other sports nearly as much as baseball. It’s that simple. Sure, steroids are bad in all sports, but I have no emotional attachment to other sports like I do baseball, so I don’t waste my energy on it. So steroids are a big reason why I have an issue with Barry Bonds. But there was always the issue of his attitude. We’ve all heard the stories. I don’t know if they’re true, but they affect me just the same. He’s not a nice guy. So I have a bias against him from the start. Is that fair? Am I basing my arguments against Barry on the possibility that he’s an ass?

Enter Milton Bradley.

Why do I have completely different feelings for a guy like Milton Bradley? By many accounts, he’s just as big of, if not more of, a jerk as Barry. He’s had run-ins with the law, run-ins with fans, and run-ins with fellow players. There’s not much one can do to defend the guy. Yet, I like him. I like him much more than I like Barry Bonds. In fact, I’ll summarily dismiss Bonds to my friends as an arrogant ass and all-around bad guy. But when someone tries to do the same to me with Milton Bradley, I protest and call them out as uninformed. Why?

The easy answer is to say that I’m naive and human. That may even be the right answer. I don’t know. The tougher answer might be that I have some sort of soft spot for a guy who continually tries to better himself. If he’s making an attempt, who am I to bash him for it?

When Bradley had the incident with the bottle, he ripped his jersey off as he left the field. That’s often seen as major disrespect to the organization. He was pissed at the fans and the Dodgers for not having his back. Right or wrong, that’s how it was. He was pissed. And he took grief for it. But early the next season, when Bradley went deep to win a game for the Dodgers in the late innings, he stomped on home plate and pulled on the “Dodgers” on his jersey. He yelled something about it at the time; I can’t recall what. But he was showing what he felt about the team then. The team, and Paul DePodesta, stuck up for him when he was brutalized in the press. They kept him around and began to build around his talents, which are pretty good. Milton Bradley saw that and appreciated it. He was trying.

So is that all there is to it? If a guy attempts at redemption, we cut him slack? It always seems like people care when a convicted murderer apologizes for what he did. I’ve always felt that didn’t matter. But maybe it does matter. Maybe we want to believe that there is good inherent in folks, and their apologizing shows it.

But this is baseball.

I like Milton Bradley as a player. I don’t like Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds did steroids. I don’t know if Milton Bradley did. Barry Bonds is allegedly a pretty bad guy. Milton Bradley seems to be a worse guy. But Milton has come clean and tried to correct himself. Barry continues to blame the world for his problems.

I am pained when I see Milton Bradley struggle in his baseball life as well as his non-baseball life. But I’ll be damned if I tell you I don’t love to see Barry struggle to hit, like he is now, and hope that he crashes and burns in a way we’ve never seen before off the field. That would just be so damn entertaining.

So what is it? What makes it impossible for me to feel any sympathy toward a guy like Barry Bonds? Why do I feel so much sympathy toward a guy like Milton Bradley? I don’t think it’s the color of their laundry. But maybe it is. I guess I’ll never know the answer.

If only I could just stop thinking about it so damn much.

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About mrjerz

  • sal m

    well your instincts are spot on – not liking him – since nobody that has been near him does…and if you read game of shadows you’ll really hate him even more.

  • http://nevada.rivals.com battle.borne

    Dios mio Senor….

    You don’t have to LIKE Barry, but to not respect his accomplishments and his impact on the game is just plain ignorant. The guy has been intentionally walked more times than Hank Aaron ever was walked in his career! Had pitchers (that were taking steroids) had enough SACK to face him, he might be nearing 800 homeruns as we speak! But baseball players and managers understand what Barry brings to the table, and fear him like the plague.

    Anyways, Mr.Jerz, Barry is not a nice guy and he’s never made an attempt to become a nice guy. So with that said, Barry is getting his karma returned to him 10fold….Your short essay is an example of the feelings most people have for him. Be they justified or not, Barry has created this hostility by his own actions or lack of action.

    bb

  • http://HOOBENN Jack McMahon

    I’m a Barry bonds fan & i think he is a good guy who because of how his dad was treated & how Willie Mays was treated, has a chip on his shoulder. The press has used him as his own worst enemy. He never drank or took drugs & took care of his body. i believe him when he says he didn’t know his friend & trainer used him to test roids. Barry is not a chemist. He just trusted his “friend”. He never tested positive for roids, so how could he tell? I’v watched how he has treated fans & have never seen him get rude to anyone who respected his space. willie Mays was accused of taking drugs and that was found to be cough syrup. It is so easy to ruin a man with false accusations. Please get the whole story before condemning the man. He doesn’t deserve the ridicule he gets for having a “chip on his shoulder”.

  • MCH

    I keep switching back-and-forth between liking Bonds, and then disliking him, and then liking him again…Although I do believe he used steroids and is lying about it, I feel he was the most talented baseball player of our generation.

    I had/have the same ping-pong feelings about John McEnroe, Dennis Rodman, Bobby Knight, Terrell Owens, Jose Canseco, Pete Rose (after his playing days, I loved him before then), Denny McLain, Ricky Henderson, Pedro Martinez, etc…

  • http://www.mrjerz.org/ mrjerz

    Crap, BB, you’re everywhere. How do you have time to post anything with everything you write at WPC?

    Now, I never said I don’t respect his accomplishments. In fact, that’s another battle entirely. I hate that he’s done some amazing things while on the juice. But I have never seen a player hit like he does, and probably won’t ever again. In fact, I’ve laughed at the sportswriters when they DIDN’T give him the MVP recently, simply because there is no way you could justify anyone else to me. As for facing the guy, I would rather pitchers just domed him instead of IBBing him. I’d love to see Barry go to the mound. Pure gold on the baseball field, that would be. But if he was nearing 800 home runs, there would have been monumental outcry about the steroids. I would be bad for baseball, just as I think Barry is right now.

    I originally wrote this before the 3rd and 4th comments, so I’ll add more to it now for those.

    Jack, I think you’re being naive. To think he took all of that and NEVER knew? Come on. I’ve heard the stories of what his dad told him about the media. But that’s one of my issues with him. His quote of, “I live in the real world,” was simply ridiculous. Barry knows nothing of the “real world” like you and me. He grew up pampered and around the finest athletes on the planet, he had access to thngs most of us could never have dreamed about, he blasted a kid in the face in high school and wasn’t even punished (despite the fact that the school had an expulsion policy for fighting), and he expects us to believe he has a clue about the real world. You honestly don’t believe the guy, do you?

    MCH, I get you going back and forth. I am exactly the same way about Pete Rose. Loved him before, think he’s a complete dirtbag who bet on his own team (even after hearing his account in his book) now. He belongs in the Hall, but should never set foot on an MLB playing field again. Oh, and I honestly believe he was on the amphetamines, too. What’s your beef with Rickey Henderson and Pedro Martinez? I haven’t heard of anything those guys have done besides throw inside, which I respect, and well, for Rickey, nothing. I’ve never heard of someone NOT liking him.

  • MCH

    I always considered Rickey Henderson to be a self-centered, egotistical Hot Dog. And even though he is no doubt the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time, as an old-school guy, I’d take classy Lou Brock over Henderson anyday.

    As a BoSox fan, of course I felt Pedro Martinez was amongst the elite pitchers of the past 15 years, and loved his contributions while in Boston. But ever since that brawl with New York – where first he looked at the Yankees dugout and pointed to his head, then threw 72-old Don Zimmer to the ground, and refused to apologize afterwards – I’ve viewed him as sort of a dink. Yes, Zim charged him, but at least he had enough class to admit he was wrong and apologized later.

    Another one I sometimes like and sometimes dislike, is Deion Sanders.

  • swf7

    I agree with number 5.
    He was probably the best player in the league 3, 4 years ago. He should have gotten Mvp no doubt, but abviously steroids took him down.

    Hes a good player but if he breaks a record i will literally blow my head off. Some of the guys actually WORKED to get the record and didnt cheat to.

    Barry has especially taken crap from the press. i mean hes the best player theyll ever see.
    That is all.

  • swf7

    love the artical!

  • http://www.whotohate.com Hank

    Wanna let Barry know how ya feel? whotohate.com

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