I agree with Barry Bonds. The media did help to bring him down. But the media couldn't have done it without Bonds' help.
Bonds knows a great deal about baseball and hitting home runs. But Bonds doesn't know the first thing about the media.
If he did, he'd have a better understanding of what led reporters to write in newspapers and report on television and radio more about what he did off the field than on the field.
What the media has done is articulate a genuine understanding of Bonds' acknowledged steroid use through leaked grand jury testimony from the BALCO drug investigation, and from Bonds' mistress, which could also lead to potential problems with the IRS.
Once Bonds realized that the media (which he has always treated with disdain) wasn't going to cut him a break, he became silly putty in the media's hands.
Bonds has always come across as being in charge of every situation. His go-to-hell attitude toward the media and the general public (his refusal to sign autographs is legendary) is his personal calling card.
That said, the "new" Barry Bonds is going to take some getting used to.
Based on Bonds' bizarre press conference Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., I didn't know whether to give him a gold watch for his impending retirement - allegedly - or hand him an Academy Award.
Bonds sat with his son, surrounded by reporters, cameras and microphones and explained why he might not play at all this season - or ever again.
Bonds explained that his second knee surgery would keep him out of the lineup for most or maybe all of the regular season. He repeated that he was tired so many times, I felt like taking a nap.
He added cryptically that his baseball career might be over. But most of all, he blamed the media for putting him in the position he's in today.
It's flattering to know that the media isn't afraid to tackle the truth. It's flattering to know that the media is more powerful than baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
The media forced baseball to do what it should have done on its own. The media forced Selig to fight the good fight against steroids.
But the media can't take all the credit. Jose Canseco's best-selling book regarding his and other players' steroid use was the impetus for last week's congressional hearing.
Somehow, Bonds didn't attend the hearing, which is laughable. How can you justify not inviting the player who's third on the all-time home run list, who in sworn grand-jury testimony admitted to using steroids (albeit, he claims, unknowingly), and whose stunning home run surge late in his career coincided with his excessive weight gain?
And Bonds has the nerve to complain that the media is picking on him?
What Bonds and other baseball stars don't seem to understand is that the media was not created to serve their own best interests.
The media was created to serve its readers, its listeners and its viewers, and to report the truth.
If the truth hurts, if you don't want to do the time, don't do the crime.
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