Former San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Barry Bonds regrets how he handled himself during his MLB career, he told Sports On Earth’s Terence Moore last week.
Bonds played 22 professional seasons en route to becoming MLB’s career home run leader.
“It’s on me,” Bonds said regarding the public’s perception of him. “I’m to blame for the way I was [portrayed], because I was a dumbass. I was straight stupid, and I’ll be the first to admit it.”
Bonds, a seven-time NL MVP and 14-time All-Star, is in his first season as the hitting coach of the Miami Marlins.
“I mean, I was just flat-out dumb,” Bonds continued. “What can I say? I’m not going to try to justify the way I acted toward people. I was stupid. It wasn't an image that I invented on purpose. It actually escalated into that, and then I maintained it. You know what I mean? It was never something that I really ever wanted. No one wants to be treated like that, because I was considered to be a terrible person. You’d have to be insane to want to be treated like that. That makes no sense.
“Hell, I kick myself now, because I’m getting great press [since being more cooperative], and I could have had a trillion more endorsements, but that wasn’t my driving force. The problem was, when I tried to give in a little bit, it never got better. I knew I was in the midst of that image, and I determined at that point that I was never going to get out of it.”
Despite his regrets, Bonds accepted the consequences of his poor attitude.
“So I just said, ‘I’ve created this fire around me, and I’m stuck in it, so I might as well live with the flames.’”
Bonds hit 762 career home runs, more than any other player in MLB history.