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Waiting for Barry
No longer content to make lame cracks about his ginormous noggin from the safety of my couch, I caught the 7 train out to Shea Stadium on Tuesday for an audience with the great man himself. Bonds generally meets with the media before the first game of a road trip, which is why some 45 scribes were crowded into the cramped visitors clubhouse at about 4 p.m. Many more TV and still cameras were waiting out in the Giants dugout, the rumored spot of the Bonds sitdown. It was said to be happening at 4:30, or maybe 5, or perhaps 5:15, depending on whom you talked to.
At 4:32, Bonds strolled into the room, wearing jeans and a black crew neck. (It looked like silk, natch.) He wore some Bose headphones and grooved to the music. The pack began to edge closer to his locker. Could it be time? Might he grace us with a few words?
Bonds huddled with the team's PR director, taking off his headphones long enough to say a few words into his ear. As Barry ducked into a players-only section, the PR man turned to the assembled scribes. It was 4:41.
"Barry's not going to speak today," he said. "Hopefully tomorrow. We'll see."
And that was pretty much that. Still, nobody left the room, figuring there was always a chance the mercurial Bonds would change his mind. Plus, the press meal wasn't ready yet. One bold reporter dared to edge close enough to Barry to ask a question, drawing a sneer from Barry as a PR person hustled to break it up. "I was just doing my job," the scribe said. "Trying to talk to somebody."
As Barry tantalized the media until we were booted at 5:20 by strolling the locker room for a few minutes at a time, wearing a long gray T-shirt over boxer-briefs and some Jordan Brand shower shoes, before disappearing to off-limits areas, reporters asked the PR staff if Barry might still speak.
"He's not going to do it today," said a PR assistant. "No reason, either." He chuckled. "Maybe he just wants to f--- with people."
Maybe. Though Barry didn't say nothing. I did catch these nuggets.
First, "This place is crowded, yo." Later, with no media member within 10 feet, a grumpy, "Can't even get dressed, man."
That left it to the likes of Giants manager Bruce Bochy to speak for Barry. "He's been great," said Bochy. "He's one of the guys. Great sense of humor." In fact, Bochy evidently thinks so much of Bonds' wit that he mentioned his "great sense of humor" again a minute later.
Maybe Bochy is right. The whole thing was indeed pretty funny. Barry will probably have some more laughs tomorrow, when I won't be at Shea but he'll still be taunting the media with his will-he-or-won't he act.
Well-played, Barry. You won this round hands-down.
posted by SI.com | View comments |
If Barry hates sportswriters, and sportswriters hate Barry, why the hell are there so many stories about him?
The answer is that he is one of the greatest ball players ever and is approaching one of the most coveted statistical records in all of major sports.
At least it makes for good reading...
Pete, look on the bright side, if Barry Bonds is ignoring you, that's one less person making fun of your new photo. Ever hear of Propecia?
I guess I am continuing to miss the point: Barry Bonds is stand-offish and it is a crime. Joe Dimaggio is stand-offish and it is "quiet dignity. What is this double standard that we seem to have about players? Does Bonds have to marry Marilyn Monroe?
Here's what you need to do, Pete: Put your hat back on, wear a Giant's Ball Boy uniform and sneak up on the Large Headed One. Then just casually ask him which type of roids he would prefer today. Let us know how he responds.
The better comparison is Ted Williams, not Joe DiMaggio. But Bonds has taken the Williams model -- snippiness, sarcasm, and general cussedness toward the press -- and, like so many other things in his life, supersized it. For all his egotism and poor manners, Williams never treated the press, his teammates -- heck, the entire world -- with the disdain and rudeness of Bonds. People dislike him because it's so easy. He invites it and enjoys it, like a playground bully who knows no one will ever like him, and has to be satisfied with intimidating people to get any enjoyment at all out of life.
Why the hell would you write a story about nothing? This story had nothing to say, and was a waste of time to read, and a I'm sure you're editor is wondering the same thing. WHy don't you write something worth reading?
Pete, since Barry's taken 'snobby' to a new level, let all the sportswriters take the 'asterisk' to a new level as well. Contrary to some of the posts today (btw, if "it's not news", why read AND post?), Barry is approaching one of the most coveted records in all of sports, and he still can't speak to the press. That's really cute Barry. Remember, to all who posted here, Ted Williams, and Joe D were never close to this record, so the "Press" comparisons are mute.
Barry cares about Barry. That's the bottom line. So, let him have his own record, separate from association with Aaron's. They did that to Maris (and then changed the asterisk after he died), and his worst habit was cigarettes.
>If Barry wants to be isolated, then, fine, isolate his record.
Duke may suck, but I'll bet its students know the difference between moot and mute.
Anonymous 12:46...thanks so much for that spelling clarification. Means alot. I should've muted my comment but it's moot now.
In a related story: Duke still sux. ('scuze the spelling)
Wouldn't it be great if he broke the record and no one was there to see it. No reporters, no fans, just the players. Maybe that would make him happy.
You should have poked him in the head with a pin to see if his head would pop like a balloon.
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