Frisco freak show

Hey, Barry? Hear that?

That sound of the freight train in the distance?

That sound is getting closer. And it's going to sweep you out of baseball before you can wrongly break one of the -- make that THE most hallowed record -- in the game.

That sound, hard to believe, is being generated by a single hardcover book, titled "Game of Shadows" by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, who led the San Francisco Chronicle's coverage of the BALCO scandal.

They recount in exhaustive detail the specifics of Bonds' drug regimen, which they write started in 1998 with injections of Winstrol, a powerful steroid also linked to disgraced Baltimore Orioles star Rafael Palmeiro.

The book describes how the San Francisco Giants star started using steroids because he was jealous of the attention paid to Mark McGwire's home run race with Sammy Sosa in 1998, and felt he needed to bulk up significantly to compete with the St. Louis Cardinals' slugger.

According to the authors, at one time or another Bonds used the designer steroids the Cream and the Clear, insulin, human growth hormone, testosterone decanoate (a fast-acting steroid known as Mexican beans), trenbolone, a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle, Clomid, a women's infertility drug (hmmm...could that be why he dressed up as Paula Abdul??) thought to help a steroid user recover his natural testosterone production, and Modafinil, a narcolepsy drug used as a powerful stimulant.

Furthermore, the book claims Bonds took the drugs in a variety of ways, including injection, pill form or liquid drops, either on his own or through the help of his trainer Greg Anderson. Bonds claimed in grand jury testimony that he did not know what Anderson was giving him.

So, let's see if I have this right ... Bonds -- as surly an individual that has ever existed in sports -- turns into a walking CVS taking drugs including one for things that go moo. And he did this because he thought no one was better, ever.

What galls me, absolutely rankles me to no end, is there are people willing to DEFEND him. Listen to the sound bites on the sports shows or some callers on talk radio. They insist he has not done anything wrong because nothing has ever been proven.

Agreed. But how do you get the chance to test him specifically when neither he nor the player's union would allow it?

Several years ago I was at New York's Shea Stadium, covering a Mets-Giants game for SportsTicker. I walked into the San Francisco clubhouse afterward just in time to hear Bonds bellow out to all, "Fuck all, y'all! I don't need any of you!"

Guess what, Barry? We're tired of you too. We're tired of you berating and belittling, fans and media alike.

The sad thing is a true gentleman of the game -- Kirby Puckett -- is forced out of the game with a debilitating eye ailment and dies way too young while Bonds, baseball's equivalent of something you step in, is still able to play. For now, anyway.

The big difference, though, is Puckett is enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Bonds will be there with Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson. On the outside looking in.

Do you hear that, Barry? Do you?

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