Barry Bonds: The Nice Guy?

Sorry - we had to.

To most baseball fans, this would be an oxymoron.

Barry Bonds, the all-time home run king, has one of the more established careers in baseball. Even before steroid accusations, Bonds was destined to enter the Hall of Fame.

His playing days have been over for half a decade now, but last week there was news about Bonds possibly being the Giants hitting coach – much to the dismay of fans.

So with that said, I pondered and realized that the hatred for Bonds still exists – maybe beyond the hostility people have for LeBron James.

Bonds certainly hasn’t helped his case in regards to people having the wrong viewpoint about him.

He has fought with teammates and has been in verbal arguments with his coach. He constantly makes life tough for any media member. And who can forget the whole kit and caboodle about his alleged performance-enhancing use. Long story short, Bonds is a quintessential villain in sports.

However, many abroad are not aware of the soft side of Bonds. That could be because the media promotes the negativity around Bonds. It can also be viewed as ‘media payback’ for all the grief Bonds put them through. Every mistake he makes, they will be there to pounce. This should go without saying, but this was self-inflicted.

How many know about Bonds’ charity work?

Bonds had a street in Harvey, Ill. named after him; but why? Because city officials noted that he has helped underprivileged children in the area. Must have done plenty to get a street named after him.

Bonds instituted a Link ‘N Learn program within his family foundation to raise academic achievement among kids from low-income Bay Area neighborhood. Perhaps the negative in this is that he centers on San Francisco this time, but considering it is Bonds, anything nice is a shocker from him, right?

The biggest gesture of them all was in response to the attack of 42-year-old Giants fan, Bryan Stow.

Stow had been brutally beaten by two Dodger fans and had sustained skull and brain injuries.

Bonds offered to pay his kids’ college tuition. He also visited Stow in the hospital and signed a bat for his children.

If people want to know why Bonds was so vicious as a player, it was because he simply played better. According to the book, Game of Shadows, Bonds tried the tactic of being nice – more so nice to the media. While doing so, he began to hit in the worst slump of his career. Therefore, Bonds reverted back to old ways and put up typical Bonds-like numbers.

Another reason was because of the treatment his father, Bobby, was given.

In a New York Times article from 2003, Bonds believed the media didn’t give his father enough credit for the type of career he had.

In essence, the jerk tendencies in Bonds can be largely attributed to the media. When he’s out of the spotlight and away from them, he’s apparently a much more pleasant guy.

I know, it is hard to believe, but the conclusion has long been reached that Mr. Bonds is nice and does actually have a heart.

 

  • http://twitter.com/PatrickASchmidt Patrick Schmidt

    I didn’t know he had a street named after him in Harvey, and i was aware of his gesture towards the Stow family, but I’m still hesitant to call him a nice guy. 
     
    Nice to some to be sure, but a jerk to a TON.

    • Lamar

      That is fair. I guess the point I was trying to get across is that Bonds isn’t a complete jerk. He does things that the media won’t really discuss because of the relationship he has with them. But all and all, still a very fair assessment by yourself.