Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Sheffield says Bonds introduced him to BALCO, tried to control his life
I knew Sheffield would rat Bonds out eventually, but this article is loaded with great stuff. Barry Bonds is such a control freak that he's even compelled to try and dominate another mega-jerk a-hole like Gary Sheffield.
MLB won't punish Sheffield for unknowingly using steroid
Barry Bonds in September of 1999 and seven months later in April of 2000.
NEW YORK - New York Yankees star Gary Sheffield will not be penalized by the commissioner’s office after his admission that he unknowingly used a cream two years ago that contained illegal steroids.
Sports Illustrated reported in this week’s issue that the New York outfielder was supplied a cream by BALCO, the California lab at the center of a federal probe into illegal steroids distribution.
Sheffield also told SI that he was introduced to BALCO by Giants star Barry Bonds, and he was stunned "the cream" and "the clear," another balm supplied by BALCO, were designer steroids. "That's why I was mad," he told the magazine. "I want everybody to be on an even playing field."
Sheffield said he does not know if Bonds has used any performance-enhancing substances.
Sheffield told SI that Bonds introduced him to BALCO president Victor Conte and to Bonds' circle, which included chiropractors and his track coach, stretching coach and strength coach Greg Anderson. (Anderson and Conte were indicted Feb. 12 on charges of conspiring to distribute performance-enhancing drugs.)
Sheffield told SI that he received vitamins indirectly from BALCO, the chain going from BALCO to Anderson to Sheffield.
"The only thing Greg Anderson does is what Barry tells him to do," Sheffield told SI. "Barry ran everything. If I'm training and if he sees Greg making me do one curl too many, it's an argument: 'I told you, don't have him do no more than he needs!' So I knew Greg was a puppet. All these guys around [Bonds] were puppets.
"They used to confide in me about how they hated it. I told them, 'You knew what you were getting into. You accept his money. You accept the status when you're around him. But you don't want to deal with the backlash of what comes out of his mouth, and you want to complain to me.'"
Under baseball’s labor deal, players with major league contracts were each tested once for steroids this season. A provision allows more frequent testing if a joint management-labor panel of physicians finds “reasonable case.”
“There is a reasonable-cause provision in the Basic Agreement, but it is limited to activity within the last 12 months. Obviously, this activity was before the 12-month window,” Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, said at Yankee Stadium before Tuesday’s AL playoff series opener against Minnesota.
“The more important issue is what are people doing today. That’s why we have a testing program and we have good information on all major league players as a result of the testing program,” Manfred said.
Bob Holley, the lawyer for BALCO president Victor Conte, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Tuesday that “BALCO provided Gary Sheffield with no illegal substances and the check BALCO received from Sheffield was for legal nutritional supplements.”
Sheffield refused to address the situation Tuesday but said it would not distract him.
“I always speak my mind, like I told you all that before. That’s a story I did before, and I stick by that and that’s the end of it,” he said.
“Unfortunately, everything always comes out when it’s a special moment for me and my teammates,” he said. “Same thing happened the first day of spring training, the same thing happens the first day of the playoffs. I’m looking forward to getting it behind me and moving forward.”
Yankees manager Joe Torre said he would be surprised if the issue distracts Sheffield.
“Sheff had to deal with this in spring training. He’s all baseball, as far as I’m concerned,” Torre said. “I guess if you’re going to play in any town that gets you used to distractions, it’s this one. So maybe he’s had some practice, being able to focus on what he needs to focus on.”
Sheffield told SI that his friendship with Bonds started to erode after Sheffield arrived in San Francisco. Bonds didn't want Sheffield to pay for anything, the Yankee star told SI, insisting that Sheffield stay at his house and not rent a car. "[It was], 'It's my way or no way,' " said Sheffield, who did keep his personal chef. "I'm not a child. I make $11 million. I can buy what I want."
Sheffield arranged for he and Bonds to see a boxing match in Miami on Feb. 2, 2002 in order to show his gratitude. "I was going to pay for the plane, the flight, pay for the limo service, the hotel," Sheffield told SI. "He gets my mail. He looks in my mail and sees he can get better seats, so he gets better seats. He can get a better flight, so he gets a better flight. He can get a better limo service. And he can get a better hotel. So basically my plan, in trying to do something in return, he wound up doing it. And [that sort of behavior] just escalated."
Sheffield told SI that the end to the friendship occurred one day when Bonds left for the gym without him, leaving Sheffield to find his own transportation. When Sheffield reached the gymn, Bonds and a writer for Men's Journal began laughing at him. "He sold me out to the media," Sheffield told SI.
Sheffield told SI that although was not supposed to run because of his ailing knee, but that Bonds and his trainers wanted him to do so. "Now all of a sudden my knee was hurting," Sheffield says. "He said something to me [about being late]. I did not respond, because if I did respond at that particular moment, I would have knocked him out. That's how I was feeling. [But] I said [to myself], No, I'm just going to walk away, and when I say walk away I mean walk away."
Sheffield also told SI that Bonds effectively stole his chef. On a plane ride to Sheffield's home in Florida, the chef told him, "Gary, I want to confess something. [Bonds] made an offer to hire me: He'll get me a car, give me a place to stay and pay off my student loan."
Shortly after they returned, Sheffield says he and his chef parted ways. Sheffield says about a month later Bonds called him to inquire about why the chef was no longer working for Sheffield but made no mention of a related development: Bonds had hired him.
"That's the kind of person I found out I was dealing with," Sheffield told SI. "To me, I don't want friends like that. I never will have friends like that."
Sheffield told SI that soon after he got a call from someone on Bonds' team, telling Sheffield that he should pay his BALCO bill, even though Bonds had told Sheffield that he shouldn't pay for anything.
Sheffield also said that Bonds told him BALCO was going to stop giving Sheffield vitamins, Sports Illustrated said.
"I called BALCO. 'Do I owe you anything?'" Sheffield told SI. "'Well, you have a bill ...' I told my wife, 'You write the check.' That's how I got linked to BALCO."
Sheffield told SI that in the 2002 season, after working out with Bonds, he had lowered numbers of 25 home runs and 84 RBIs. "I had my worst year ever," he said. "I gave him too much credit. When you listen to another person on an everyday basis drill into you numbers, numbers, numbers, and you've never been that way, it doesn't work. I don't play for numbers. When I played to try to get numbers, I didn't get them."
"I never wished anything bad on [Bonds]," Sheffield added. "I want him to achieve what he wants to achieve, but what I want more is that his life gets right. That he can have compassion for other people. And that's what I want the most."
Bonds had little response to Sheffield's comments, telling SI through a spokesperson: "I wish nothing but the best for Gary. I want him to win the MVP. He deserves it."