Former San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds retired after being named All-Star 14 times in his 22-year career. He faced allegations of steroid use, which has led to him being held out of the Hall of Fame by voters. Bonds has since revealed that he believes Major League Baseball has given him a "death sentence."
Speaking with The Athletic in a recent interview, Bonds said that he feels exiled following his retirement from MLB in 2007. These comments came as part of an interview about modern hitting trends. Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs (762), and he set the single-season record for homers with 73.
However, Bonds also discussed his legacy and the effect that the steroid use allegations have had on him. He recently received 60.7 percent of the vote to be included in the Hall of Fame. He needed 75 percent in order to be enshrined.
"If they don't want me, just say you don't want me and be done with it," Bonds said about the Hall of Fame. "Just be done with it."
Bonds will only be eligible for enshrinement for two more years. His name will be removed from the ballot following the 2022 vote.
Following his retirement, Bonds has rarely been involved in MLB. He briefly served as a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in 2016, and he has previously worked as a guest instructor for the San Francisco Giants. Other than privately tutoring some big-name players, such as Alex Rodriguez, Bonds has not been a common sight around clubhouses.
This has reportedly made Bonds feel like "a ghost in a big empty house, just rattling around." He also said that his heart has been "really broken" by MLB.
Bonds never admitted to using steroids during his career. He reportedly told a grand jury that he used a substance that prosecutors say contain steroids. Federal prosecutors dropped the remaining charges against him in July 2015, ending a decades-long steroids case.
"I know what I did out there," Bonds said to The Athletic. "I know what I accomplished between those lines. It's outside those lines that I would have done some things different."
The seven-time NL MVP will continue to wait for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. With only two chances remaining, it's becoming less likely that he will be given the honor following a 22-year career in MLB.
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