When Will San Francisco’s Love Affair with Bonds End?

What the historic and controversial ex-ballplayer said earlier this week, and although beloved in S.F., why some believe he shouldn't be allowed back in the game in any capacity.

Ed Millerby Ed Miller

During Bonds’ last season with the Giants – a farewell tour of sorts – he was booed in practically every stadium across the country as he chased Hank Aarons’ 755 career home runs; every stadium except San Francisco’s AT&T Park.  Amidst steroid allegations and a change in the size of his head, the city has continued to support Bonds like a folk hero.

But enough is enough!

It all began with Jose Canseco and his infamous autobiography.  Canseco was a former big league slugger who was willing to do anything to make a quick buck and that’s exactly what he did with his book.

In his book, Canseco blabbed the names of several MLB superstars who took performance enhancing drugs, thus creating the biggest scandal in baseball history.  Among the accused was Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa, to name just a few. But it was Bonds who was public enemy No. 1.

Meanwhile, San Francisco went from the fog city to the city of sunshine and rainbows, as it backed its slugger awaiting dinger after dinger and record after record.

Bonds still has yet to be convicted of using or distributing an illegal steroid, though he is a convicted felon thanks to giving an evasive answer to a grand jury in 2003.  The legal aspect is far from over but we’ll save you from all that legal mumbo-jumbo.

Meanwhile, Bonds is enjoying life after baseball – a game that seemingly shunned him in 2008 when he became a free agent and was unable to find a new home.  From time to time he even comes back to the old ballpark and the cheers are just as loud as ever.  Bonds even has a personal services contract with the Giants and will work in some capacity with the franchise, once the dust clears with the legal proceedings.

This is what Bonds had to say during a brief broadcast booth appearance earlier this week:

”I gave my life and soul to that game. That’s what’s heartbreaking. That’s the hard part of it. My (reputation) was kind of iffy anyway. I created that guy out there for entertainment only. Whether you hated me or liked me, you were there. And I only wanted you there. I just wanted you to see the show. That was it. All I ever wanted was for people to have a good time and enjoy it. It was fun to come out and people would boo or yay or whatever. They all showed up to see whatever would happen next and it motivated me to play hard.”

What we’re wondering is why guys like Pete Rose – a player that bet on baseball and didn’t fess up to it – was banned from baseball in any capacity, while Bonds looks to continue a career in the game.  It’s almost the same set of circumstances, especially considering Bonds failed drug tests during his playing career.

But it’s not just the fans, he even has some of the players brainwashed!

”It’s always a treat when he comes around,” Giants pitcher Barry Zito told FOX Sports.  ”I love Barry.”

He might be the greatest guy in the world off the field. We don’t know.  All we do know is what we saw over the last decade. 

Don’t get us wrong, San Francisco has knowledgeable fans that understand the game and it's history, but somehow Bonds just manages to continue to have the city swooning while the rest of the country cant’ help but want to puke.  He tried to ruin the game of baseball but Giants fans just look right past that.

We can’t wait to hear him announced as the hitting coach or as director of player relations.  It would simply be the icing on the cake for a guy who seems to enjoy the bizarro world that is San Francisco.

Ed is a sports contributor and the lead hockey writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @PhillyEdMiller, and subscribe on Facebook @ CraveOnlineSports.

Photo Credit: AP