MLB.com:Well, you also had a lot of things going on off the field, too. There were family issues. There were the BALCO legal proceedings.
Bonds:I think it’s overwhelming for one person to handle. And I always kept going with what my dad and Willie said. “Regardless of the problems you have off the field, son, those problems are still going to be there when the games are over. And if you can’t handle your job, you’re not only not going to have a job, but those problems are still going to be there.” I was able to stay focused on my job because I knew the things I was dealing with and those things were going to be there anyway. And I had to deal with all that and perform. It was a lot for one person to have to deal with. I didn’t think it was fair at all. I will never say it was fair. Never.
MLB.com:Do you think it was fair the way your career ended?
Bonds:No, I don’t think my career should have ended that way. I will never agree with that at all. But at the same token, I had a great 22 years. 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. I’m very grateful. This is my hometown. I have family here. I don’t have fans, these people are my family and I love them to death. I played for them and performed for them. I was lucky. My father performed for them. My godfather performed for them. For me to be the final link in that legacy is something I’m very proud of. What more could I ask for? When I was a boy, I wanted to play in the same uniform as my godfather. I wanted to be the left fielder. Willie played center, my father played right, and I wanted to be the left fielder. And I got to fulfill that. So, hey, you know what? In the end, I win. I got to do the things I wanted to do. I feel grateful and I loved it.
MLB.com: The Hall of Fame vote is coming up with you on the ballot for the first time. How do you feel about that?
Bonds:I respect the Hall of Fame, don’t get me wrong. I really, really, really respect the Hall of Fame. And I think we all do. I love the city of San Francisco and to me that’s my Hall of Fame. I don’t worry about it because I don’t want to be negative about the way other people think it should be run. That’s their opinion, and I’m not going to be negative. I know I’m going to be gone one day. If you want to keep me out, that’s your business. 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. If [the voters] want to put me in there, so be it, fine. If they don’t, so be it, fine.