San Francisco Giants Throwback Thursday: Bonds takes a Break?
By Daniel Sperry
As the 2018 season starts, we will be introducing some new standing pieces. Our first new standing piece is our Throwback Thursday piece, looking at important things that have happened on that date in San Francisco Giants History.
Our first Throwback Thursday takes a look at San Francisco Giants legend, Barry Bonds. On this day, March 22, 2005, Barry Bonds announced he was thinking about not playing in 2005.
In an interview with media on March 22nd, he let his frustrations out and explained what was going on behind the surface with him. Wrapped up in the center of MLB’s hypocritical crackdown on steroids in baseball, Bonds was still a 40-year-old man coming off multiple knee surgeries in the offseason. Here is a quote from Bonds in Henry Schulman’s write-up of the interview for The Chronicle 13 years ago:
"“I’m going to try to let myself heal,” Bonds said. “I’m 40 years old, not 20, 30. I’ve got a lot of work to do to try to get back for these guys. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to be back yet. Right now I’m just going to try to rehab myself to get back to, I don’t know, hopefully next season, hopefully the middle of the season. Right now I’m just going to take things slow. I feel bad for the guys because I want to be out there for them. I don’t know. Three knee surgeries in four months, three months, whatever it is. . . . I’m tired, guys, just tired,”"
Ironically, Schulman was kicked out of the interview and told by Bonds that he would, never speak to him for the rest of his life.
Bonds’ dejected, hurt, and angry demeanor ended up lashing out at the media, blaming them for the cause of his frustration outside of the injuries. He said this, according to Schulman:
"“You wanted me to jump off the bridge. I finally jumped,” Bonds said. “You wanted to bring me down. You finally have brought me and my family down. You’ve finally done it, everybody, all of you. So now go pick a different person. I’m done. I’ll do the best I can.”"
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Obviously, we all know how this went. Schulman still covers the Giants, and Barry Bonds got the all-time home-run record just over two years removed from this moment. At the time of the interview, bonds was sitting on home-run number 703. Bonds ended up playing 14 games for the Giants in 2005, hitting 5 homers.
Interestingly enough, according to Schulman, Bonds told an MLB.com reporter that he “would be gone after 2006.”
We all know that didn’t play out. Bonds played two more seasons, breaking the All-Time home-run record in 2007.
He still holds the mark at 762. Bonds’ number will be retired at AT&T Park this year on August 11th, against the only other big league club he’s played for, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
I find it quite interesting to go back in time to look at what the Giants were having to deal with in the clubhouse, and off the field. If you read through Schulman’s write-up, the managers and players seemed to want to distance themselves from it as much as possible. Thankfully, the Giants worst off-field distraction since then was likely Mad-Bum’s dirt-bike incident, which seems miniscule in terms of distraction size compared to this.
Next: Dyson giving the Giants some worry?
Of course you have Melky Cabrera‘s whacky-ness in 2012. But the team basically cut ties with him and moved on with him very far in the rear-view mirror. Stay tuned as we continue to do our throwback thursdays.