By Jeff Pearlman
No participant within the heritage of baseball has left such an indelible mark at the online game as San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds. In his twenty-year occupation, Bonds has accumulated an remarkable 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 avid gamers the sport has ever visible. both deserved, despite the fact that, is his recognition as an unbearable braggart, whose legendary domestic runs are rivaled in basic terms by way of his mythical ego. From his awesome 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 chronic allegations of steroid use, Bonds evokes a like quantity of ardour from each side of the fence. for lots of, Bonds belongs beside Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron in baseball's holy trinity; for others, he embodies all that's fallacious with the fashionable athlete: aloof; smug; alienated.
In Love Me, Hate Me, writer Jeff Pearlman bargains a searing and insightful inspect some of the most divisive athletes of our time. Drawing on greater than interviews -- with former and present teammates, rivals, managers, running shoes, neighbors, and outspoken critics and unapologetic supporters alike -- Pearlman unearths, for the 1st time, a perfectly nuanced portrait of a prodigiously proficient and immensely unsuitable American icon whose arguable run at baseball immortality ceaselessly replaced the best way we glance at our activities heroes.
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Additional resources for Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero
In the event that they can do larger, carry their ass available in the market and do it larger than me. positioned my uniform on and do it. ” Bonds didn’t support the location through blaming the lapse on his divorce, telling ESPN’s Chris Myers that whereas the ball was once in flight he was once puzzling over the impression his break up used to be having on his teenagers. within the July 1 San Francisco Chronicle, C. W. Nevius penned a scathing column with the headline exchange BONDS and produce again THE fanatics. “Whether he has intended to or not,” Nevius wrote, “Bonds has became the poster boy for every little thing the indignant baseball fan dislikes in regards to the glossy participant. he's obvious as overpaid, uncooperative, egotistical and underproductive…. whereas baseball ordinarily and the Giants particularly are desperately attempting to regain the fanatics’ affections, Bonds refuses to budge. he's one of many few avid gamers within the video game who can continuously take a nasty state of affairs and switch it right into a full-blown catastrophe. ” try out as he could to seem detached, Bonds will be deeply wounded via feedback. His security mechanisms—a stoic face, crossed palms, speedy retorts—only labored so good. all through and a part seasons he were the king of the Giants. And now I’m now not sought after? presently after the column ran, considered one of Bonds’s representatives approached Chronicle sportswriter Gwen Knapp and provided her $2,000 to spin out a pant piece on his patron. “At first i presumed he was once joking,” says Knapp. “But I’m lovely convinced that if I acknowledged, ‘Make it $3,000,’ he could have pulled out his checkbook. the item that struck me is that the majority brokers say, ‘If i am getting you a one-on-one with my man, you’re going to like him, you’re gonna see he’s a superb man and you’re gonna wanna write approximately him. ’ So what does it say that Bonds’s humans needed to supply cash? It says that Bonds was once taking an incredible beating. ” As Bonds brooded over his undesirable press, alongside got here “Prime Time. ” Bonds bad-mouthed Sanders again and again, ripping him for his mediocre play and for now not arriving via crew bus simply because “that ain’t major Time’s style”—even as Bonds had limousines and inn suites written into his agreement. (In truth, Sanders gave the Giants a lift, hitting . 285 and tying a profession excessive with a . 346 on-base percent) Bonds went as far as to stack folding chairs in a circle round his locker to maintain the newshounds looking ahead to Sanders out of his turf. “The nice Barry Bonds,” wrote Dan Le Batard of the Miami bring in, “reduced to a baby. ” If Bonds was once bothered through Sanders’s picture, he was once both disturbed by way of his real-life character. Why don’t teammates appreciate me the way in which they do leading Time? “Deion used to be awesome,” says catcher Tom Lampkin, who recollects Sanders’s type gestures whilst Lampkin used to be dealing with marital issues. “He got here in and signed footballs for individuals, and it used to be the same as his excitement to take action. until eventually that point, the single mega-star I’d been round used to be Barry, and he wouldn’t allow you to get to grasp him. yet Deion used to be a burst of light. ” because the season drew to a detailed, Thompson and Williams—the senior Giants—pulled Sanders apart and prompt him to come back to the Giants the subsequent season.