If Barry Bonds was a little testy in the locker room during his last years as the really Giant home run king, we now may have a clue as to why.
Aside from the juiced up flaxseed oil and chemically enhanced arthritis balm he was slathering on, apparently some of it injected sub-derma, one of his drug tests in 2003 and released in court documents yesterday showed the presence in his body of the female fertility drug Clomid.
So, instead of potential "roid rage", any bad mood Barry moments could have simply been a serious case of PMS?
Don't get me wrong - Barry is entitled to his emotions. My wife has even accused me of the same thing at times when I'm naturally a little cranky. I can only imagine if I'd also had a drug inside me designed to amp up in women's bodies the sometimes challenging cycles of fertility. Not to be un-PC but "The View" can get pretty scary some days.
Don't worry. Mr. Bonds is not about to be another Thomas Beatie, the famous pregnant man. The slugger's stomach may be the one part of him that didn't grow, according to a story that said some of the testimony in his perjury case involves "witness description of Bonds' head size, hat size, hand size (and) foot size..." I'm guessing at least all those things got bigger.
At least one story describes clomid as an estrogen-blocker and testosterone enhancer, so I might just be getting in a mood about this PMS thing, wholly unsupported by scientific and medical realities. My apologies.
Still, you have to feel a little sorry for the guy that, again according to yesterday's stories, his whole life may get laid out for a jury, including "sexual behavior" and voicemails left on a former girlfriend's answering machine. And I feel that way despite almost having to escort two Chronicle reporters (and friends) to jail for an 18-month lock-up over the BALCO case for good shoe leather reporting on Mr. Bonds and others.
The last time I saw Barry Bonds up close was years ago at a dinner party in the Seacliff home of Jeff and Carole Shorenstein Hays. He was wearing a well-tailored suit and moved his considerable bulk around the floor with some ease. He was friendly and almost retiring, not in keeping with the angry, arrogant diamond superstar portrayed, well, nearly everywhere in the press.
He also sent some baseball-related toys as a present - Christmas or birthday, I can't remember - to my oldest son when he was still a toddler. I didn't consider it a teddy bear-bribe at the time; it just seemed like a nice gesture, probably celeb parent to celeb parent (neither of them me.)
And of course I saw him play many times, joining in the mass, breath-stealing thrill at his power hitting.
But it was only after those brief connections that Barry Bonds became just about an every day part of my life. The BALCO case consumed a ton of oxygen at The Chronicle, both as an ongoing story and as a First Amendment cage match between the paper and then-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez over the ability of our reporters, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, to maintain the confidentiality of their sources.
Lance and Mark did not go to jail and continue their impressive reporting careers. The on-the-field baseball career of Mr. Bonds is over, a victim of age and this case. A judge or jury will decide if Mr. Bonds committed perjury about his steroid use. This morning he pled "not guilty."
But we're only left to imagine the crime war waged under his skin in the gender-bending days when Clomid met "The Clear."