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He Loves Himself Barry Much
Rick Reilly
August 27, 2001
In the San Francisco Giants' clubhouse, everybody knows the score: 24-1.
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August 27, 2001

He Loves Himself Barry Much

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In the San Francisco Giants' clubhouse, everybody knows the score: 24-1.

There are 24 teammates, and there's Barry Bonds.

There are 24 teammates who show up to pose for the team picture, and there's Bonds, who has blown it off for the last two years.

There are 24 teammates who go out on the field before the game to stretch together, and there's Bonds, who usually stretches indoors with his own flex guy.

There are 24 teammates who get on the players' bus at the hotel to go to the park, and there's Bonds, who gets on the bus with the broadcasters, the trainers and the manager who coddles him.

There are 24 teammates who eat the clubhouse spread, and there's Bonds, whose nutritionist brings in special meals for him.

There are 24 teammates who deal with the Giants' publicity man, and there's Bonds, who has his own clubhouse-roving p.r. guy, a freelance artist named Steve Hoskins, who turned down George Will's request for an interview with Bonds because Hoskins had never heard of him.

There are 24 teammates who hang out with one another, play cards and bond, and there's Bonds, sequestered in the far corner of the clubhouse with his p.r. man, masseur, flex guy, weight trainer, three lockers, a reclining massage chair and a big-screen television that only he can see.

Last week, after Bonds hit his 51st home run in a 13-7 win over the Florida Marlins, most of the players stayed to celebrate the victory, and at least one was gone before the press arrived in the clubhouse: Bonds.

"That's Barry," says San Francisco second baseman Jeff Kent. "He doesn't answer questions. He palms everybody off on us, so we have to do his talking for him. But you get used to it. Barry does a lot of questionable things. But you get used to it. Sometimes it rubs the younger guys the wrong way, and sometimes it rubs the veterans the wrong way. You just hope he shows up for the game and performs. I've learned not to worry about it or think about it or analyze it. I was raised to be a team guy, and I am, but Barry's Barry. It took me two years to learn to live with it, but I learned."

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