Guess who’s testing the free agent market in Major League Baseball? None other than the ‘roidman himself, Barry Bonds, whose contract with the San Francisco Giants is expiring.
Now, I ask you, can you imagine any general manager touching this bad boy with a 10-foot-pole? Outside of the Bay Area, Bonds is rightly detested for his obvious ingesting and injecting of illegal substances to bulk up, bash baseballs and pocket big checks as a result. Adding insult to injury, Barry happens to be one of the nastiest human beings in the sport and is also one step ahead of an IRS investigation into possible tax evasion.
Just imagine a counterpart to Barry in Corporate America. It would be like Jeff Skilling somehow getting a stay on his 24-year sentence and suddenly entering the free market. Or Richard Scrushy, who was somehow found innocent in his HealthSouth trial, testing the waters with other companies. Or, Bernie Ebbers slipping off his chains and offering his services to the highest bidder. It boggles the mind.
From an image and reputation standpoint, Bonds is pure poison even to the most mercenary-minded general manager. He’s divisive in and out of the locker room and downright nasty to the sports media.
So, in my mind, Barry’s caught in a pickle. If the Giants don’t pick up his contract, enabling him to play another year in front of those adoring San Francisco fans (and what, I ask, are they thinking?) then his quest to break the all-time home run record will end. And, since Bonds’ records are totally bogus, it should be short-circuited.
Here’s one baseball fan hoping the game’s general managers do what’s right for baseball and let Barry pack up his bats, his pills, his needles and creams and head home. If records are to be broken, then they should be done so by guys who play by the rules.