In a new interview with MLB.com, the former Giants slugger says he deserves baseball's greatest honor, despite the informal asterisk that comes with his status as the best-known player of the steroid era. When asked if he felt he belongs in the Hall, Bonds responded "without a doubt."
"You have to vote on baseball the way baseball needs to be voted on," Bonds said, arguing that he deserves fair consideration from Hall of Fame voters. "If you vote on your assumptions or what you believe or what you think might have been going on there, that's your problem."
After an eight-year investigation, Bonds was convicted last December of obstruction of justice connected to his 2003 grand jury testimony on alleged steroid use. Bonds was sentenced to 30 days of home confinement and two years probation, plus 250 hours of community service and a $4,000 fine. The jury acquitted him of perjury charges, which carried a more severe penalty. His sentence was suspended pending appeal.
The Hall was one of several topics covered in the MLB.com discussion, which might be one of Bonds' longest and most in-depth interviews in years. Famously prickly with the media, Bonds discussed his feelings for San Francisco the Roger Clemens trial, and his possible future as a Giants coach. (Thanks to NPR's The Two-Way blog for letting us know about the interview.)
From the interview, here's Barry Bonds on...
The end of his career:
Would I have liked things to have been different? Sure, I would have loved them to be different. On one side of it, I'm disappointed. I should have been able to play one more year. That's all I wanted. Play the one more year in San Francisco. I knew one more year would have been it for me. That's what I wanted to do. It didn't work out that way. I have no animosity toward anyone.
His legal situation:
I have to say I'm a felon of obstruction of justice because that is my title. That is it and hopefully (the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) will see the light and overturn it. And if they don't, I will accept what my punishment was and will have to move on.
His relationship with the media:
The character I created on the field was a different person than the way I was off the field. It was that person that made me perform. It gave me the push to perform. Whether you hated me or loved me, you came to see that person or that show. And with the media, I needed space. When the first thing that happens after you get to the clubhouse every day is questions about the chase or how you feel, I'll admit it now that it was hard for me to deal with and I could've done it a lot better.
His feelings for San Francisco:
My things are here in San Francisco. These are the people who love me. This is where I feel I belong. This is where I want to belong.