Bonds had never
seen the ropes on the field before. "What the f--- is this?" he
demanded of the security guards. They told him the ropes were for McGwire.
Furious, Bonds began knocking the ropes down. "Not in my house!" he
With the help of
Winstrol, Bonds was so muscular that he could hit the ball as far as McGwire.
But even after the elbow healed, Bonds wasn't right in 1999. He felt
muscle-bound and inflexible and had trouble turning on inside pitches. He also
complained of back and knee problems and about his eyesight, saying he couldn't
pick up the rotation on the ball. Bonds' vision always had been
astonishing--perhaps the complaints about his eyes were psychosomatic, a
reflection of the worry he felt about his elbow injury, the pressure he felt to
perform at the highest level. But Bonds's complaints about knee and back pain
and feeling too tight led Anderson to rethink his star client's workout regimen
and to seek out other drugs for him.
If Bonds had any
doubts about continuing to use performance-enhancing drugs, they were
eliminated just before the start of spring training in 2000, when he went to
Cashman Field in Las Vegas to compete in the Big League Challenge, a charity
home run derby broadcast on ESPN. Jose Canseco dominated the event. He hit 28
bombs in the last round, while Bonds didn't even make the finals. At one point
Bonds saw Canseco take off his shirt: 255 pounds, seemingly not an ounce of
fat, just gleaming, chiseled power.
Bonds said. "Where did you get all that muscle?"
In the Giants' new
park, there would be new drugs. Anderson put Bonds on Deca, the gym rats' name
for Deca-Durabolin. Like Winstrol, it was a bodybuilder's injectable steroid,
used in medicine to treat anemia associated with kidney failure. Eventually,
Anderson started Bonds on human growth hormone (HGH), the synthetic drug being
touted by cosmetic surgeons as an anti-aging miracle. Injecting HGH was tricky
and painful: Rather than plunging the syringe into a big muscle, the user
pinched a bit of skin on the belly with thumb and forefinger and carefully put
the needle into the flap. Like a steroid, Growth could help the user increase
muscle mass. But it was also thought to strengthen joints and connective tissue
and thus was often cocktailed with Deca or other steroids.
liked growth hormone. It allowed him to maintain his impressive musculature
without intensive training. That was important because he was doing well to
manage 15 or 20 minutes of pumping iron each day during the season, and that
wasn't nearly enough to keep one's body looking like a locomotive. But with
HGH, Bonds remained buff and more energized to train, yet he felt more
flexible. There was an added benefit to the new drug regimen: Bonds stopped
complaining about his eyes. At age 35, he felt better than he had in years.
The new Pac Bell
Park opened in 2000. It had a 2,700-square-foot clubhouse, and Bonds had the
run of the place. He felt he had built the new ballpark, and he insisted on
bringing Anderson, his stretching coach Harvey Shields and his running coach
Raymond Farris there with him.
training staff wanted nothing to do with Bonds's three trainers and urged
management to ban them from the clubhouse, according to a source familiar with
the conversation. The Giants had unofficial background checks done on Bonds's
trainers and learned that World Gym was known as a place to score steroids and
that Anderson himself was rumored to be a dealer. But the club decided it
didn't want to alienate Bonds on this issue, either. The trainers stayed.
Bonds had an
outstanding year, batting .306, with 49 home runs--a career high and second in
the league to Sosa's 50--and 106 RBIs. He felt strong all season and recovered
quickly from minor injuries. He had high hopes for a fourth MVP award. Instead,
the trophy went to a teammate he hated, Jeff Kent, who batted .334 with 33 home
runs and 125 RBIs. Despite the disappointment, it had been a breakthrough year,
one in which Bonds had completed the transformation of his body and his game
and, it seemed, had discovered the Fountain of Youth. At 35 Bonds's father had
batted .215 for the Cubs and retired. But at the same age Bonds had enjoyed
what he considered his best season. There were more to come, as he transformed
himself into the game's most feared slugger.
No one was in a
better position to note his transformation and its side effects than Kimberly
Bell, a graphic artist five years younger than Bonds. They met in 1994, when
she was 24 and he was separated from his first wife, Sun, and locked in bitter
divorce proceedings centered on the validity of the couple's prenuptial
agreement. Bonds was determined to keep his estranged wife from getting his
money. Obsessed with the litigation, he told Bell there was no way he would
ever get married again. Bell told him she didn't want to get married,