Chasing Shadows?

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Hell still hath no fury like a woman scorned. In the Old Testament, Samson is a seemingly invincible figure who rips apart a lion with his bare hands and who slays a thousand Philistines warriors single-handedly.

So, his enemies approached the married muscle man’s mistress to learn how he was able to exhibit such super-human strength. After lying to Delilah three times, Samson finally confided that his long hair was the source of his enormous power. She then proceeds to shave off his curly locks while he’s asleep, and the bald behemoth awakens a veritable weakling.

The moral of that Biblical passage is probably not lost on Barry Bonds given that Kimberly Bell, his girlfriend from 1994 to 2003, is the person most responsible for knocking the adored icon off his pedestal. For after having his marriage to his Swedish first wife, Sun, annulled, Bonds passed over Kim in favor of a café au lait Canadian babe named Elizabeth Watson.

And Barry’s fatal mistake was in continuing to date Kim after he and Liz tied the knot on January 10, 1998. Despite lavishing his mistress with Kobe-quality attention, the spurned other woman tired of playing second banana. As a result, when this constant companion was subpoenaed to testify about whether or not her boyfriend was on performance-enhancing drugs, she freely spilled the beans about his steroid rage and bacne, indicating that he went bald, like Samson, after he started injecting himself with the illegal drug.

If the aim of Mark Fainaru-Wadu and Lance Williams, authors of Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, Balco, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports, was to tarnish the future Hall of Famer’s reputation, then this book has achieved its goal, indubitably. That being said, one has to wonder whether there might have been a secondary agenda here, since they simultaneously chose to ignore hundreds of other ball players who also juiced up during baseball’s Steroid Era, instead devoting their time and energy to digging up every bit of dirt they could on scapegoat Bonds.

Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, Balco, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports. By Mark Fainaru-Wadu and Lance Williams. Gotham Books. Hardcover, $26.00.  352 pages, illustrated. ISBN: 1-592-40199-6

Excerpt: “On May 22, 1998, The S.F. Giants arrived in St. Louis for a three-game series with the Cardinals. That weekend, Giants All Star left fielder Barry Bonds got a firsthand look at the frenzied excitement surrounding Mark McGwire, baseball’s emerging Home Run King.

Bond had recently remarried, but on this trip he was accompanied by his girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, a slender attractive woman with long brown hair and green eyes. On that trip, Bonds began making racial remarks about McGwire. According to Bell, he would repeat them throughout the summer.�

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