Magazine article Insight on the News

Bonds Is the Name ... Barry Bonds

Magazine article Insight on the News

Bonds Is the Name ... Barry Bonds

Article excerpt

As of June 25, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants had hit 39 home runs in 76 games, a pace that would give him 83 dingers for the season. It's safe to say that Mark McGwire's cherished single-season home-run record of 70 is in jeopardy.

Unlike the McGwire saga, however, this feel-good story could get ugly. Bonds has a long history of treating the media with contempt, refusing interviews and threatening writers, not to mention his habit of ignoring fans. He has a chip on his shoulder the size of the bat he swings, and this could be a big problem for baseball if Bonds begins attracting the kind of attention McGwire and Sammy Sosa drew in 1998.

Bonds was despised by his teammates in Pittsburgh, the club he broke in with, and he hasn't made many friends in San Francisco either. Then there are the heartwarming stories that humanize Bonds: He went all the way to the California Supreme Court to avoid paying his ex-wife alimony, based on their prenuptial agreement -- a deal that was signed in the presence of Bonds, two of his lawyers and a financial adviser, plus fiancee Sun Branco, an immigrant who had only a friend from Sweden along. …

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