Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero

By Jeff Pearlman

No participant within the background of baseball has left such an indelible mark at the video game as San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds. In his twenty-year profession, Bonds has accrued an unheard of seven MVP awards, 8 Gold Gloves, and greater than 700 domestic runs, a powerful collection of feats that has earned him attention as one of many maximum gamers the sport has ever visible. both deserved, even though, is his attractiveness as an unbearable braggart, whose legendary domestic runs are rivaled merely by means of his mythical ego. From his amazing skill and fabled pedigree (father Bobby performed outfield for the Giants; cousin Reggie Jackson and godfather Willie Mays are either corridor of Famers) to his well-documented run-ins with teammates and the power allegations of steroid use, Bonds evokes a like volume of ardour from either side of the fence. for plenty of, Bonds belongs beside Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron in baseball's holy trinity; for others, he embodies all that's unsuitable with the trendy athlete: aloof; boastful; alienated.

In Love Me, Hate Me, writer Jeff Pearlman bargains a searing and insightful inspect the most divisive athletes of our time. Drawing on greater than interviews -- with former and present teammates, rivals, managers, running shoes, pals, and outspoken critics and unapologetic supporters alike -- Pearlman finds, for the 1st time, a superbly nuanced portrait of a prodigiously proficient and immensely improper American icon whose arguable run at baseball immortality endlessly replaced the best way we glance at our activities heroes.

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In what had turn into an annual ritual, Bonds met the media for his “State of Barry” give-and-take, yet this one had a far edgier tone. “I’ve been right here my entire life,” he acknowledged. “I got here again domestic. I’m lovely fortunate. yet i glance at it this fashion: Why should still I be any diversified than the best way my godfather was once despatched out, the way in which Matt Williams used to be despatched out, the way in which the remainder of them have been despatched out? ” At one element Bonds insisted he didn't carry grudges, pointing to Roderick and asserting, “If I did i'd punch you,” then turning to Henry Schulman of the Chronicle and including, “and I’d have punched you many years in the past.

Hunter used to be banned from Olympic competition…. Unknown on the time used to be that what had transpired was once no mere drug raid. A workforce of greater than dozen FBI brokers barged into BALCO’s workplaces armed with weapons and the data that Victor Conte used to be the guy who supplied steroids to the good Barry Bonds. a couple of brokers escorted Conte right into a again room, then sat and listened as BALCO’s CEO provided a meticulous account of his company operations. in keeping with the e-book video game of Shadows, Conte implicated 27 athletes—15 from music and box, 7 from the NFL, and five from significant League Baseball—including Bonds.

Bonds had lower back to shape. within the hours ahead of online game seven of the nationwide League Championship sequence, the Atlanta Braves clubhouse could have been harassed for any variety of libraries in metropolitan Fulton County. The room was once eerily quiet, with a number of outfielders conversing softly in a single nook, a number of aid pitchers ingesting espresso in one other. That’s the way in which Braves supervisor Bobby Cox loved issues. He used to be an old-school skipper who by no means believed a lot in pep talks or self-motivating trash speak.

No titanic deal. ” “Barry continually sought after stuff done,” says pitcher Steve Soderstrom, “but he by no means desired to look after it. ” that very same spring, Hershiser bought an OrbiTrek elliptical computer and had it put within the complex’s weight room. somebody used to be welcome to hop on. “That’s the way in which Orel was,” says Cruz. “A overall type, team-first man. ” encouraged by way of Hershiser’s buy, Bonds got a Bowflex domestic health club and likewise had it put in within the weight room. whilst Cruz desired to do a shoulder exercise routine, coach Stan Conte rebuffed him.

On the age of 18, he grew to become a father. And, virtually at the same time, his profession in expert activities begun. on the end of his senior yr Bobby had authorised a proposal from Pusich and the San Francisco Giants. as well as an $8,000 signing bonus, the deal assured Bonds a $500 per 30 days wage. The Giants additionally agreed to underwrite his institution on the collage of his selection. After the figures have been confirmed, Pusich broke out his you-can’t-resist card: “By the time you get to the massive crew, Willie Mays can have or 3 years left,” Pusich informed Bobby.

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