Barry Bonds takes the blame for his negative image: 'I was straight stupid'

Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds is of course the all-time home run leader in Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players in the sprawling history of the game, but he's not exactly beloved, at least outside San Francisco. Part of this has to do with the allegations of steroid use that will probably always cling to him. Part, though, is that he forged a reputation during his playing days as a genuinely unpleasant person, at least if you didn't know him well. To be sure, the media bears part of the blame, but Bonds is here to tell you that he deserved those harsh renderings.

Bonds recently had a revealing conversation with Terence Moore of Sports On Earth that for the most part addresses the complicated public figure he was in Pittsburgh and later with the Giants. Here's part of what Bonds said about who's at fault for those longstanding perceptions:

"Me. It's on me. 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. 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."

Moore's piece has much more from Bonds, so do give it a full read. Today's Bonds, now in his fifties, couldn't sound more different from the one who hit those 762 home runs.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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