I'm sure Steven thinks I'm crazy for never turning against Jeff Kent, but I enjoyed him too much as a Giant to give up on him completely. If nothing else, his surly media presence and silly tall-tales took some of the pressure of Barry during their time together in San Francisco. Believe it or not, Bonds was actually getting a good deal of love back in 2002 because Kent had ascended to be the organization's primero bad boy. Anyway, I'm writing this now because Jeff, the former Cal Bear, has just gone on record "defending" his former teammate. Whether his comments constitute a true defense is open to question. But they at least underscore the extent to which the media have mistreated Bonds, both earlier in his career and now, as the steroid controversy rages:
"Barry tries to do his best, as we all do, to shed light on issues that he has and we all have in our lives," Kent said from the Los Angeles Dodgers' spring training camp.Yes, whatever else you want to say about him, Barry tries. More importantly, he succeeds more than most. I continue to find it laughable that players like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, bulging with as many muscles as Barry ever was and never the baseball player he still is, have been cut slack that Bonds was even denied as a Pittsburgh Pirate.
"I understand he has a lot he can't talk about; I understand he has a lot of anger at the media," Kent added. "I have a lot of respect for Barry. He is one of the best players ever to play the game. I know in time things will work themselves out. Barry tries. Because of what he's done and who he is, he's a lot different than most of us."