SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds' record 756th homerun ball was given to Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown today, and the Hall said it will display it with an asterisk, symbolizing that the record is tainted by Bonds' steroid usage.
But Bonds' ex-San Francisco Giants' teammates are objecting to the asterisk. They revealed for the first time that Bonds' steroid physique was not caused by steroids but by a third testicle Bonds had surgically implanted in a desperate attempt to boost his home run total starting in 1998.
Ex-team trainer Stan Conte explained the impetus for the surgery: "Barry was unhappy about the publicity [Mark] McGwire was getting in '98 when he was chasing Roger Maris' [single season home run] record. So I told him, 'Barry, you do what I tell you, and I guarantee you McGwire will be only two-thirds the man you are." Conte located a gonad donor and performed the surgery himself in Haiti. Conte explained that "no reputable physician would do it, not even in San Francisco."
Former teammate Jason Schmidt said that Bonds had no choice but to level with his fellow Giants about the implant "because we saw him in the shower all the time." Schmidt asked that this reporter make clear that he did not intentionally look at Bonds or any other naked player in the shower; that he keeps his head down and focused on his own private parts at all times while showering; and that if any naked player happens to come into his line of vision, through no fault of his own, he averts his eyes "regardless of the number of testicles or other male appendages that player may or may not have." But Schmidt explained: "You couldn't help but notice that after the surgery, Barry's -- how can I put this delicately? His junk had shrunk -- I don't know how else to say it." Schmidt looked around furtively. "Turns out the donor was a white guy," he whispered.
Former manager Felipe Alou, contacted for this story, said he wasn't told about the surgery at first, but he noticed something different right away. "I walked into the lockerroom after the surgery and I said, in my best English, 'Wow, can that Bonds fill out a jock or what!'"
Contrary to his public image as a moody, spoiled athlete, Bonds took his teammates' ribbing about his additional body part with good nature. Alou explained: "A day wouldn't go by that somebody wouldn't say, 'No wonder Barry walks so much. When he comes to bat, he's already got three balls on him.' It's amazing how that same joke would crack us up every time!"
Ex-trainer Conte said that the implant never affected Barry in a negative way, "except that he started scratching himself 33 percent more than the other guys -- and that's an exact figure because I kept close track of that." Conte insisted that the league requires each team to maintain careful records of "ball scratching." Conte also noted that the donor he located for Bonds, major league pitcher Kris Benson, has not fared as well since the operation "because Benson's become afraid to challenge hitters on the mound; you know, a sissie."