Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career home run record five years ago and as he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time, he spoke candidly about his experience with the media.
Bonds was often known as a player difficult for reporters to deal with on a daily basis.
"I got a ball and I hit it, so in that way there's nothing I would have done differently," said Bonds. "As far as handling the media, I would have done a lot of things differently. The character I created on the field was a different person than the way I was off the field. It was that person that made me perform. It gave me the push to perform. Whether you hated me or loved me, you came to see that person or that show. And with the media, I needed space. When the first thing that happens after you get to the clubhouse every day is questions about the chase or how you feel, I'll admit it now that it was hard for me to deal with and I could've done it a lot better. That's a lot for one individual. You're going to snap. It's hard when you have to do that every day for 162 days. Add Spring Training. It would be tough for anyone."
Bonds was also asked how he feels about his status on Hall of Fame ballots.
"I respect the Hall of Fame, don't get me wrong. I really, really, really respect the Hall of Fame. And I think we all do. I love the city of San Francisco and to me that's my Hall of Fame. I don't worry about it because I don't want to be negative about the way other people think it should be run. That's their opinion, and I'm not going to be negative. I know I'm going to be gone one day. If you want to keep me out, that's your business. My things are here in San Francisco. These are the people who love me. This is where I feel I belong. This is where I want to belong. If [the voters] want to put me in there, so be it, fine. If they don't, so be it, fine."
Bonds was asked if he feels he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
"Oh, without a doubt. There's not a doubt in my mind."
Via Barry M. Bloom/MLB.com
San Francisco Giants
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