Barry Bonds chatted with Jim Gray on MSNBC’s “Countdown” last night, telling the Pete Rose-baiter that he’ll not attend his Cooperstown induction if the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Mueseum chooses to display the no. 756 HR ball with an asterisk. From the AP :
œI won™t go. I won™t be part of it, Bonds said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Thursday night. œYou can call me, but I won™t be there.”
The ball Bonds hit for home run No. 756 this season will be branded with an asterisk and sent to the Hall. Fashion designer Marc Ecko (above) bought the ball in an online auction and set up a Web site for fans to vote on its fate. In late September, he announced fans voted to send the ball to Cooperstown with an asterisk.
Bonds has called Ecko œan idiot.
œI don™t think you can put an asterisk in the game of baseball, and I don™t think that the Hall of Fame can accept an asterisk, Bonds said. œYou cannot give people the freedom, the right to alter history. You can™t do it. There™s no such thing as an asterisk in baseball.
What if the Hall goes through with the asterisk display?
œI will never be in the Hall of Fame. Never, Bonds said. œBarry Bonds will not be there.
œThat™s my emotions now. That™s how I feel now. When I decide to retire five years from now, we™ll see where they are at that moment, he added. œWe™ll see where they are at that time, and maybe I™ll reconsider. But it™s their position and where their position will be will be the determination of what my decision will be at that time.
Given the prevailing mood surrounding Bonds, it might be a tad presumptous for Barry to presume he’ll be inducted. Given the amount of warmth and goodwill he brings to most proceedings, a threat to boycott Cooperstown is a tad curious — for the Hall, that might seem like a pretty good deal.
Bonds fails to recognize the Hall Of Fame wasn’t responsible for defacing the ball — though they could’ve pre-empted this discussion by telling Ecko they had no intention of accepting an altered baseball prior to his launching the online poll.
Had Bonds chosen to pay off the guy in the Jose Reyes tee, however, he’d be holding all the cards. Though it isn’t my place to tell an unemployed man how to spend his savings.