San Francisco Giants legend Barry Bonds’ relationship or lack thereof with the media and his teammates was well-documented during his 22-year Major League Baseball career.
Bonds gave a little insight on his image nine years after his retirement to Sports on Earth.
“I'm to blame for the way I was [portrayed], because I was a dumb---. I was straight stupid, and I'll be the first to admit it," Bonds said. "I mean, I was just flat-out dumb. 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.”
Bonds goes on to say the way he was a portrayed as a young player for the Pittsburgh Pirates spawned from a pressure to perform when he arrived to the big leagues.
“I knew I had good talent, but I was a fruit of a tree, and I wasn't ripe yet. Not at that point of my career,” Bonds told Sports on Earth. “The expectations were just thrown on me to carry that whole team, and I was too young to handle all of that. I took it personally, and I was offended by it. I also was really disappointed, and I allowed my emotions to get involved. That sort of escalated everything.
“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.
Still, it isn’t all regrets for Bonds.
"The one thing that I would never, ever reflect on and talk about changing from the past is my ability with what I did out there on the field," Bonds said. "When it came to [preparing for and playing the game], I did that right. But as far as my attitude and the way I handled things, I just didn't do it the right way. There were times during my career when I really did try, but I wasn't given the benefit of the doubt, because I had already created the monster."