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GameDay: Barry Bonds Returns To The Spotlight, Makes Hall Of Fame Case

KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O'Donnell hosts "Gameday" every Sunday night at 11:30pm on KPIX 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.

(KPIX 5) -- Barry Bonds looks like he'd still be a perfect fit in the 5 spot in the batting order. Has he really been away from the game for 7 years? He looks like he could hit 20 with his eyes closed.

Most interesting comment he made in his Spring Training press conference regarding the media, "I wish I had a better relationship with you guys."

PHOTOS: Barry Bonds Instructs At Giants Camp

So true. At times, he could be the most interesting man in the clubhouse. But most of the time, at least with the media, Bonds was condescending and rude. I know, I was on the receiving end, more than once. But during his press conference on Monday, Bonds was thinking and talking about his future, not his past.

Bonds was the most feared hitter in baseball. The one player you wouldn't go to get a hot dog when he was coming to the plate. A ballpark would spring to life when number 25 dug in. Camera flashing, Kayaks in the cove, and kids with eyes wide open in anticipation of a Barry Bonds souvenir.

Bonds has come to represent many things: Power, speed, Gold Gloves, and, unfortunately, steroids. His path to the Hall of Fame is blocked by his black mark on the game. He wasn't the only one, we know that. But he is the only home run king, and I know more than one writer with a vote who will NEVER forgive him for that.

But America loves a great comeback story. Bonds one-week stay with the Giants is, in many ways, a new call-up to the big leagues. A chance for to take another swing at baseball. An opportunity, not to erase the past, but to draw a new future.

And, perhaps at some point, the ice will thaw. I've never believed that Cooperstown is bestowed upon only those with upstanding character. In fact, the landscape of society is dotted with great leaders who have made mistakes but received forgiveness.

If I had a vote, I'd give to Bonds. I hold no grudges, I hope he doesn't either.

I'm Dennis O'Donnell, and I'll see you on TV.


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