Barry Lamar Bonds never seemed like the social media type when he played Major League Baseball. He never seemed all that social, period. In fact, he seemed anti-social. But, in retirement, Bonds has mellowed, and made the surprising move to join the social microblogging site Twitter, where anyone can dish all sorts of knowledge — important, unimportant, unintelligible — to anyone who follows.
Bonds's first tweet Wednesday was to announce that he was on Twitter. Nobody seemed to notice. But when news breaks, apparently we can count on Barry to chime in:
How kind of him, really. Joan Rivers wasn't everyone's cup of tea as far as entertainment, but Bonds probably could relate to her in an anti-hero sort of way. Or maybe he just loved her on "Fashion Police."
Bonds is following 17 accounts so far, and most of them seem to be entertainers — Oprah, Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Whoopi Goldberg. One baseball guy so far: Dexter Fowler of the Houston Astros, who Bonds tutors in the batting cage. Bonds might not turn out to be much on Twitter, but as Joaquin Andujar once said about baseball: You never know. One thing: It might be interesting to see how Bonds reacts when people aren't nice to him. And a lot of them won't be.
This month, it makes for seven years since Bonds swung a bat (or was intentionally walked) in a major league game. Unofficially exiled from the game with BALCO legal trouble hanging over his head at the time, Bonds was done at age 42, having batted .276/.480/.565 with 28 home runs and 132 walks for the San Francisco Giants in 2007. His final at-bat was a deep fly out against Jake Peavy, then of the San Diego Padres. Bonds didn't have much success against Peavy, though he did hit career homer No. 700 against him in 2004:
Just a couple of days ago John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle talked to Peavy about the final Bonds confrontation:
“I wanted to make sure I didn’t walk him. I wanted to give him his due respect,” Jake Peavy said. “I’m not sitting here saying I threw the ball in there and let him do anything. I wasn’t doing him any favors other than giving him a chance to swing the bat. He of course deserved that, and fortunately the situation in the game played out where I could do that.”
Shea also asked Peavy about Bonds's status with the Hall of Fame. He's garnered only 30-some percent of the vote the past two seasons. He needs 75 percent to get in. It's not looking good for the best player of his generation.
“Absolutely. I played against other players who are in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know about all the drug stuff. I can tell you this: He’s the best player I played against or will play against. Mike Trout’s trying to make an unbelievable case for himself. Barry Bonds changed the game more than anybody I’ve seen in 13 years. Of course he’s a Hall of Famer.”
Peavy keeping it real.
You can say it is wrong to take performance-enhancing drugs, and you'd be right. But if you also say that MLB has been better off without Bonds in the game, or that the Cooperstown is better for Bonds being kept out, that's not as clear-cut.
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