Negotiations are continuing between a Los Angeles production company and ESPN that could result in a Barry Bonds reality show airing during the 2006 season.
(Wait a minute ... wait ... wait ...)
Nobody's saying exactly what shape the show's going to take, or how "real" it will be. Bonds, as has been well documented, never has been particularly forthcoming with details of his life and avoids those who would chronicle it -- we're talking about your friendly neighborhood reporters here -- as much as he does advice from the Giants' trainers.
(Hold back ... not yet ... not yet ...)
But Bonds would have a vested interest in this show. He's partnering with Tollin/Robbins Productions, responsible for TV's Smallville and Crumbs and movies such as Coach Carter and Radio. TRP would co-produce with ESPN Original Entertainment.
(Almost there ...)
The show would follow the San Francisco slugger on his quest to push past Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list and approach the record held by Henry Aaron. Ostensibly, it would be inside and close up, giving viewers a glimpse of a Bonds we never have seen before. For instance, we could see ...
(Here we go.)
Bonds in the middle of a loose, easy Giants clubhouse, laughing and joking with his teammates.
Bonds patiently answering reporters' questions.
Bonds spending his free time bantering with fans.
Bonds signing autographs for a half-hour.
Bonds being humble.
Bonds praising Ruth.
Bonds and Gary Sheffield sharing a friendly ride.
Bonds and Jeff Kent going duck hunting together on a day off.
Bonds putting his head down after a homer, immediately leaving the batter's box and simply trotting around the bases.
Bonds looking into the camera and truthfully explaining, at length, his relationship with Victor Conte and Greg Anderson and detailing the workout regimen and the supplements he has used to get him where he is today, enough so as to remove any doubts we may have about his amazing power surge.
The name of the proposed series? Well, as far as we know, that still has not been determined. Chasing Barry? Dancing with the Star? The Amazing Chase?
Or, for the less kind among us: Beauty and the Beast? Extreme Makeover?
If Bonds is hurt, would the show be called American Idle?
Whatever, we're still at least a couple of weeks away from a deal for the show being finalized, according to an ESPN publicist, if it indeed gets there. As they say in the business ... stay tuned.
Just Saying No To The Classic
For all of the uproar, Bonds' announcement that he's backing out of the World Baseball Classic is the smartest move for him and baseball. He's had three knee operations in the past year. He appeared in only 14 games last season. Given a choice to play for the good ol' US of A in a hyped-up exhibition or use that time to get as healthy as possible for a run at Ruth and Aaron (not to mention the National League West title) ... well, it's really no choice, is it?
Bonds won't be the only one to bail on the 16-team tournament in the coming weeks, either. A lot of injured or rehabbing players will try to moonwalk out of the WBC before the tournament begins in early March. Lance Berkman, who is having scar tissue removed from his knee later this week, also is backing out.
A lot of other players will come up with aches and pains that will keep them out of the tournament, just out of fear that it could affect their real jobs. Still, the WBC will have plenty of stars to attract the fans.