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He may be baseball's greatest player...he may be the man who's hit more baseballs further than most anybody can.
He's made uncounted millions hitting balls into the bay adjacent to the San Francisco ball yard, but today would you be Barry Bonds if you could make the switch? You might.
You'd have a lot of money, so your future might seem bright, and certainly your present would be thoroughly secure, but for the riches and the fame you would, must needs, endure the questions of reporters wondering are your hits ignited by substances mysterious, and are your records blighted because you have conspired with the boys down in the labs who've engineered your biceps and your triceps and your abs?
And were you to change places with the current MVP, who's won the honor seven times now, you would have to be a miserable misanthrope, suspicious, paranoid...a man who would do anything he had to avoid an interview, a question, or a photo op, a day upon which someone wanted to know what he had to say.
So would you, if you could, be Barry Bonds, or might you rather go quietly about your life and never have to bother with monstrous expectations and with large suspicions, too, that, taken all in all, could poison everything you do, until you've come to think the worst of everyone you meet, 'cause everyone wants something, all the people from the beat reporter with a note pad to investigative things, who rustle through your garbage, try to peek beneath your rugs, and learn what everybody whom you've ever known has said, and where each nasty, brutish, short crack you have made was bred.
You might decide all that's a small price for the prize of fame so glorious that everyone in baseball knows your name. You might conclude you'd happily be called a bitter creep if you could buy and sell the critics, but it is a leap, I think, to say that trading places with the MVP would be as pleasant now as some bright, future fall might be...for clean or dirty, juiced or natural, doesn't Bonds appear to be the least contented MVP of any year?
This program aired on November 19, 2004. The audio for this program is not available.
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