As the City by the Bay bid farewell to one of their biggest "icons," Barry Bonds this week, I find it only fitting to offer up a little tribute from his hometown San Francisco Weekly. Please enjoy with your morning coffee, or perhaps an nice pastry.
Under his friend's tutelage, the authors reported, Barry Bonds pumped iron and steroids alike with ferocious zeal. He endured numerous physical changes symptomatic of doping, Game of Shadows asserted, including sexual dysfunction, hair loss, and skin irritation. Yet unlike the book's somber treatment of such topics, Marlon Leftwich claims Anderson fondly reminisced about using an emery board to sand down his prized client's back acne. Leftwich recalls Anderson saying, "One time I told Barry I was gonna sell a snuff tin of his skin flakes on eBay. He got the biggest fing grin on his face and said, 'Be sure I get my cut of the profits.'" But his smile would go south in 2001 during spring training. Rapid skull growth, another indicator of heavy steroids use, had placed undue strain on the slugger's neck, resulting in hairline fractures in three upper vertebrae. According to Leftwich, Anderson disclosed that, as a remedy, doctors implanted a small titanium brace at the base of Bonds' skull to keep his abnormally large head upright. The procedure was an unqualified success: He hit 73 home runs that season, breaking McGwire's record by three.