Barry Bonds, the most famous hitting coach in Marlins history, has a public relations problem. Specifically, he was disrespectful, rude, and abrasive for decades, and people started to take offense for some reason. It just doesn't add up, but that's people for you.
If you read my overwrought hagiography of Bonds, you'll know that one of the conclusions was that he sure seems happy now.
That's Bonds taking a selfie at an Earth, Wind & Fire concert. So happy. And now he has regrets.
He talked to Terence Moore about those regrets, and it's a fascinating read. While I'm skeptical of the reason he gives for his behavior (it's not like he was voted off the Arizona State team because he kept pretending he was the Tickle Monster), it's a pretty convincing mea culpa.
My favorite passages:
"Me. It's on me. I'm to blame for the way I was [portrayed], because I was a dumbass. I was straight stupid, and I'll be the first to admit it,"
There goes Bonds, deflecting like a politician. Why don't you take some responsi ... wait.
"... I was nice, and I was saying, 'Hello' to folks and I was very calm. But I was like 0-for-21. And the first thing those teammates said to me was, 'We want the old Barry back.' I said, 'Yeah, but y'all don't like the old Barry.' And they said, 'We don't care. We want the old Barry back.'
Little-known fact: Jon Bois has tried to get every writer at SB Nation fired through lies and backchannel maneuvering. When we talked to him, he cut it out, but then he suffered from serious writer's block for a month. So we told him to start up again, and everyone's happier. That's not entirely true, but I'd go along with it if I needed to.
I knew I was in the midst of that image, and I determined at that point that I was never going to get out of it.
"So I just said, 'I've created this fire around me, and I'm stuck in it, so I might as well live with the flames.'"
It's sad and redemptive at the same time. Please read the whole article because, while I don't think the public will ever come around fully on Bonds, the amount of self-reflection here isn't something we've ever been treated to.