xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

The first installment of ESPN's Bonds on Bonds, the "reality" style show on Barry Bonds, aired Tuesday night. Keep in mind this enterprise is controlled by Bonds. Also keep in mind this enterprise -- in which ESPN is partnered, business-wise, with an important news subject -- has caused consternation within the network.

The show started off surprisingly even-handed on Bonds, with several members of the media offering critical appraisals of him. His former manager, Dusty Baker, even talked about how Bonds once told him he'd have lots of people to apologize to after he was done playing.

Advertisement

Bonds himself gave the media a backhanded compliment: "Without their negativity, I probably wouldn't be as good as I am."

He allowed himself to show his obnoxious side, saying how he would respond to a reporter's innocuous question early in spring training about how the Giants would do: "Do I look like the ------- fairy godmother? How do I know?"

Advertisement

But then we got the softer Barry. With a sense of humor about himself. Joking about how Terrell Owens ranked ahead of him on GQ's list of most hated athletes: "How did T.O. get in front of me?" Interacting good-naturedly with his teammates.

The latter part of the show was much more sympathetic, particularly in showing Bonds hounded by the media and receiving reams of racist hate mail.

But there were a couple of curious bits in the second half of the program that made a viewer wonder, "What is that doing in there?"

*After a sound clip of a report on Bonds' alleged steroid use, he was heard to say: "I could just literally kill somebody." Was that supposed to support the notion that this show is a warts-and-all program? Or was it supposed to scare everybody?

*Two sets of comments, from ESPN's Peter Gammons and former Phillies slugger Mike Schmidt, sounded sympathetic to a ballplayer's use of steroids. If Bonds didn't knowingly use steroids, as he has maintained, why include sound bites that justify their use?

The show closed with Bonds sitting by his father's grave, talking to him, then limping off to his car. And we're obviously left to think, "Poor Barry."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement