Having already entertained us to no end with “The Bad Guys Won”, then following his Mets tome with the Barry Bonds bio, “Love Me, Hate Me”, author Jeff Pearlman has embraced his greatest challenge : convincing the Sultan to ‘fess up. From ESPN’s Page 2 :

Barry Bonds is an evil man. A truly evil man. As a husband, he has cheated on both his wives. As a father, he has been absent and indifferent. As a role model, he has spit at autograph seekers and directed kids to “f— off.” As a Giant, he has held a franchise hostage and refused to help teammates in need. As a blatant abuser of steroids and human growth hormone, he has deprived the game of integrity and turned its record books into mush. For all of those transgressions (and the 1,241,971 others I’m leaving out), Bonds deserves to reincarnate as Buddy Biancalana. In drag.

Amazingly, things have become significantly worse. Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, the two San Francisco Chronicle reporters responsible for “Game of Shadows,” are doomed to go to jail if they refuse to spill the beans on the source of Bonds’ leaked grand jury testimony. In other words, they will be locked up for presenting the world with the truth about baseball’s biggest fraud; about a man willing to pass Willie Mays and Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron by any (illegal) means necessary. Perhaps the two scribes will share a cell with Greg Anderson, Bonds’ personal trainer, who — as a reward for being the slugger’s longtime friend — had also served time for refusing to speak, and is facing more.

I am not writing this column to sell books. I’m writing it to tell Barry Bonds — to beg Barry Bonds — to finally do something selfless and righteous:

Come clean.

Heck, your reputation is already dead; your Hall of Fame candidacy as listless as a Hall & Oates chat room. Why not at least preserve some dignity by stepping up and doing your best to keep three men — one who has dedicated his life to you, two others who have dedicated their lives to bringing you down — out of prison?

I’m a great admirer of Pearlman’s work, and I eagerly await his public pleas to Mark McGwire and Brady Anderson.

Bonds had a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored in SF’s 7-6 defeat of Arizona earlier today. Armando Benitez earned the save, pitching a perfect ninth the afternoon after he was yanked an out away from finishing off the Snakes Tuesday night.