Bond's arrival is a media circus - East Valley Tribune: Cactus League

Bond's arrival is a media circus

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Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:15 pm | Updated: 6:20 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The following column comes with a disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for anything I say.

If anybody tries to hold me accountable for my thoughts, I will accuse them of making things up just to make me look bad.

If you continue to question me, I’ll become angry and lash out at you.

Got it? Good.

Now we can talk about Barry Bonds.

The Bonds circus rolled into Scottsdale Stadium Tuesday, and what an event it was.

The media already were in pounce mode as Bonds got out of his SUV at about 8:30 a.m. Every step he took was chronicled by photographers. Reporters scribbled in their notebooks the precise time he walked onto the field for batting practice.

We can report, by the way, that Bonds saw 31 pitches from Barry Zito and Matt Cain. He swung at six of them and hit one home run.

Film at 11! Bonds goes deep. And in a related story, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was found sobbing at his desk Tuesday, muttering the words “flaxseed oil” over and over again.

Bonds even played a joke on his buddies in the media. He and Zito emerged from the dugout midway through practice wearing identical black T-shirts that read, in orange letters: “Don’t ask me, ask Barry,” with arrows pointing to the other guy.

“That was my idea,” Bonds said.

Pretty clever, Barry.

Finally, a little after 1 p.m., Bonds sat down on the metal bench in the dugout for his first interview of the spring. Nine camera tripods began to whir. Nearly 30 reporters turned on their tape recorders and waited.

What would Barry say? What wouldn’t he say? Would he offer free samples of the “cream and clear.”

The first few questions were batting practice fastballs.

How are you feeling, Barry?

“I’m very happy. My knees are not bothering me. I can go back to my regular routine.”

You need 22 home runs to pass Hank Aaron and become baseball’s all-time home run leader. Your thoughts?

“I’m going to go out and play hard. If the record gets in the way, it gets in the way.”

He joked that his homer off Cain counted, and “I only need 21 more now.”

Is it bothersome that your personal trainers, Harvey Shields and Greg Oliver, are no longer allowed in the clubhouse?

“My trainers are here,” Bonds said. “They’re just not here (in the ballpark).”

On and on it went, Bonds smiling and being fairly jovial, until somebody asked about the federal government investigating him for perjury after telling a grand jury he didn’t knowingly take performance-enhancing drugs.

That’s when Bonds went into his you-guys-keep-trying-to-make-me-look-bad routine.

“It doesn’t weigh on me at all because it’s just you guys talking,” he said. “It’s just media conversation.”

Us guys?

It’s the government looking into your testimony, Barry, not the media.

“Let them,” Bonds said. “They’ve been doing it this long. I’m not concerned about it.”

Bonds, 42, was asked about reportedly testing positive for amphetamines last season and blaming teammate Mark Sweeney, saying he had taken the substance from Sweeney’s locker.

“I did not blame Mark Sweeney,” Bonds said.

Then why did you apologize to Sweeney and his family?

“Because you guys just started talking about it and I just thought it was unfair for him to be accused of something that wasn’t true,” Bonds said.

Sorry for that, Barry. We’ll try to do right by you the next time you rat out a teammate in an obvious attempt to save your own behind.

Just one last question, Barry, if you don’t mind.

Did you test positive for amphetamines?

“No comment.”

Gee, didn’t see that one coming.

Bonds cut off the interview after 12 minutes when it became apparent the media wanted to talk about everything but baseball.

“I’m going to play until I’m 100,” he said. “You guys better get used to me.”

Do we have to?

Listen to Scott Bordow every Monday at 1:05 p.m. on The Fan (1060 AM) with Bob Kemp.

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