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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 9, 2006

Too busy cashing in on Bonds?

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Columnist

Suddenly it isn't just those pictures of Barry Bonds in the Paula Abdul wig and get-up that take on a whole new light after the release of powerful excerpts from the book, "Game of Shadows."

Though allegations of heavy use of performance-enhancing drugs including Clomid described as a female fertility drug might pose some interesting questions about the Abdul episode in some minds. Not to mention the use of Trenbolone, which is said to improve muscle in cattle.

The bigger questions, if Bonds was pumping himself full of even half the stuff the excerpts claim, are what were the San Francisco Giants' management and coaches doing during the five years it was alleged to have taken place?

Beside counting the millions Bonds and his escalating home runs were making them.

Let's remember, as damning as the charges are as an indictment of Bonds, what about those who should have been in a position to catch the red flags surely popping up? If Bonds was attaining record performance through chemistry, shame on him. But if the Giants and baseball, ostensibly custodians of the game and its most prized record, were looking the other way the whole time, they have even more major league splainin' to do.

The breadth of the medicine cabinet it would have required and time how did he find time to take batting practice? and transport of everything involved make it unlikely the Giants were not aware of what their slugger was up to. Even if they somehow missed the gain of 15 pounds of muscle in 100 days and the explosion in home runs.

If Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, had, as excerpts maintain "the run of the clubhouse" and "would eventually supply some (other Giants players) with steroids," club officials had to have stuck their heads pretty deep in the sand to have missed what was unfolding in their midst.

For the moment, the Giants aren't commenting on the book's allegations. But how long, you wonder, before someone with the club gives us a variation on the Casablanca line: "I'm shocked, shocked to find (performance-enhancing drug use) was going on in here."

Bonds' reasoning, we are told, for popping, injecting and applying a whole pharmacy of substances, was jealousy over the acclaim lavished on Mark McGwire from the then-record setting 70 home run season of 1998. Records, the excerpts said, Bonds was sure were the product of "juice."

Baseball's dark secrets surrounding the sport's most storied record have finally been shown the light of day. Now it is time that the Giants and baseball finally come clean on what they knew and when they knew it.

Clearly, the old flaxseed oil defense doesn't cut it any more.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8044.