The Major League Baseball season starts this week! I’m a civilized American, citizen of the world, and a lifelong Phillies fan so I care: you’re a bumblephoquing Floridian so you don’t. We can agree to disagree on this.
But elsewhere in the universe, the trial of former SuperSteroidStar Bobby Bonds has commenced, and among the first witnesses to confront him is his former mistress. Hoo-ha:
Barry Bonds’ former mistress testified Monday that he blamed a 1999 elbow injury on steroid use, and that the body and behavior of baseball’s home run king changed during their nine-year relationship.
Called by prosecutors to the witness stand, Kimberly Bell choked up as she recalled Bonds once threatening “to cut my head off and leave me in a ditch.”…..Bell said that Bonds’ sexual performance declined in the later years of their relationship. She said that his testicles changed shape and shrank. She also testified that Bonds grew and shaved chest hair and developed acne on his back.
A visibly uncomfortable Bell testified that Bonds’ behavior also changed over time. “He was increasingly aggressive, irritable, agitated and very impatient,” she said….[S]he testified that Bonds verbally abused her starting in 1999, saying that in addition to threatening to decapitate her Bonds said “he would cut out my breast implants because he paid for them.” —Newser.com
Hitters like it when their strike zones shrink — it means on borderline pitches, umpires respect their judgment, and give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re not talking baseball when their balls shrink, though. As for cutting out her breast implants, well, that’s really stretching the term “dugout” beyond tradition.
Lord knows what he would have done with them, anyway — snorted them? Injected them into his own shaved chest? Sold them on e-bay to pay off gambling debts? No, that would be Pete Rose.
This is only going to get uglier, but the good news is that Bonds himself is no longer suiting up and playing baseball, and the sordid business of his alleged drug abuse and bad behavior both on-field and off will be but a sickening aside on the sports pages. With the passage of time, I suspect the world will regard him not as an evil force, but a tragic figure, one whose drive and ambition were perverted, then corrupted, first by ego and delusion on his part, then encouraged by others’ greed and apathy to his personal health and well-being. As P.T. Barnum noted decades ago, freak shows sell tickets.
Too bad. But the 2011 season dawns, untainted, pure, virginal. Play Ball! If you’ll pardon the expression.