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Recalling Barry Bonds at his press-hating worst

Monday, August 16, 2010

images Word went out a couple weeks ago that the disgraced ex-Giants slugger is donating $20,000 to the National Association of Black Journalists.  And today Lance Williams at California Watch adds a personal perspective as to just how weird that is, given the home run king’s propensity for hating the press.

It was especially true in San Francisco during the pressure-packed years when Bonds was driving to break Hank Aaron’s home run record, even as federal agents were investigating him for using steroids from the BALCO drug lab.

In those days, the writers and broadcasters covering the home run chase endured grief, static and jacking around from the Giants star, along with occasional physical threats.

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He once invited Rick Reilly, then the superstar columnist for Sports Illustrated, to San Francisco for an exclusive interview, kept him waiting around for five days, and then told him to get lost.

Add Bonds: As Williams and Mark Fainaru Wada dug into the BALCO scandal for the Chronicle, their employer at the time, Bonds took out his wrath on Chronicle beat writer Henry Shulman.

Bonds once had told Schulman that if he held grudges, "I would have punched you a long time ago," adding, "I’m not a vindictive person. There would be a lot of dead people if I was."

Footnote: Bonds’ federal perjury trial is set for next March.

Photo: New York Daily News


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