Bonds needs to take one for team

By By Chris Kamrani

By Chris Kamrani

When describing Barry Bonds, clichés such as “painted into a corner” or “this magician’s all out of tricks” could be used, but now, baseball’s No. 1 with a bullet is staring down the end of the barrel.

With last week’s indictment, Bonds has found himself aghast, but the question is: Did anyone really expect this to happen? I, for one, did not.

Four years ago, Bonds testified before a grand jury that he didn’t use any form of performance-enhancing drugs.

You’re telling me it’s taken four years for the feds and former Sen. George Mitchell to make a distinct case against Bonds?

It’s like the mafia. You cut a deal, snitch, and you’re free. Enter former trainer Greg Anderson. Anderson had been serving jail time for refusing to testify against Bonds. Just hours after Bonds was indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, Anderson was released from prison. Badda bing, badda boom.

This brings us back to our beloved Barry. The guy has more enemies than Ann Coulter, whether it’s the two San Francisco Chronicle writers who have been breathing down his neck, Sen. Mitchell or MLB commissioner Bud Selig, not to mention all those “friends” who have been on the receiving end of Barry’s actions. Bonds finally needs to step up to the plate and take one for the team, no pun intended.

How did it come to this for Bonds? The seven-time MVP, current home run k*ng, son of a baseball icon and godson of the “Say-Hey Kid,” had always strived to be the best. The “Pittsburgh Pencil” broke onto the scene as a 22-year-old kid with opposite field power and a 0.357 magnum for an arm. Now? Try Free-Agent Fathead with broken down knees.

The avalanche waiting to happen started in 1999 when, according to the book Game of Shadows, Bonds started using performance enhancers. Most will ask why he started. Could it be perhaps that he has just become a product of his environment? In professional sports, top-dollar athletes are cutting teeth to rise above each other — in other words, it’s now survival of the fittest. Literally.

Bonds has not helped his stigma too much, either. He was the guy turning his back on little kids pleading for autographs, lounging in his exquisite locker room La-Z-Boy. Bonds has never been too media-friendly either, but he can work the press like no other — tiptoeing around questions while taking humoristic jabs at reporters makes Bonds who he is. The lies and deceit that spew from Bonds’ mouth every time he speaks don’t help his case. In doing this, he adds to the incentive of others to prove him wrong. In a recent interview, when asked if he had unfairly obtained the home run record, Bonds quickly responded, “That’s not true, that’s not right, and it’s not fair to me.”

Don’t get me wrong, Bonds is a jerk, but has he been treated fairly? The answer is no. Has he been singled out in this mess? Obviously. It seems as though the steroid investigation has been misled on a personal vendetta against Bonds. Rather than finding out the inside sources and countless other players that have been involved, Mitchell, Selig and Co. are intent on cashing in on that vendetta to make Bonds an example.

Now Bonds must be prepared to reap what he has so rightly sown. His playing days are all but faded. In that same interview, which was a few weeks before the indictment, Bonds seemed emotional and beaten. If he doesn’t step up soon, Bonds will lose everything. The only question remaining is: Was the juice worth the squeeze, big guy?

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