Bonds Breakthrough Is Nipped in the Bid
The Page 2 auction was still open before Saturday’s game for an autographed Jeff Kent Dodgers jersey, giving me the chance to ask Barry Bonds how high he wanted to go.
Now I’ve heard all the horror stories about reporters trying to talk to Bonds, one even asking me to give him the chance to leave the room before Bonds went nasty, but as you know, I like talking to folks no one else wants to talk to, which is why I tried to interview Lisa Leslie last week.
So I walked right up to Bonds and told him that Kent announced the other day he was no longer talking to me, knowing Bonds could relate.
I told him Kent wouldn’t talk until I signed a magazine that had ripped Page 2 -- Kent taking a certain delight in that, knowing Bonds could relate.
Then I told him that in return for my signature, Kent had given me an autographed jersey and now I wanted to get rid of it. I thought for sure that would get a smile out of Bonds, but nothing.
I told him I had put it up for auction in The Times, all the money going to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, and I was here now because I figured an autographed Jeff Kent jersey was something he’s always wanted but just didn’t know how to ask for.
Bonds hadn’t said a word, didn’t say a word. He stuck out his hand and I shook it, which I’m told is his way of telling a reporter to get lost.
He didn’t know it, of course, but we were just getting started.
“Hey, I’m here to help you,” I told him. “It’s just what you need.”
More silence, but keep in mind I’ve already had the experience of talking to a dead man, and maintain one day I will get a sign of life out of J.D. Drew.
“Come on, you’re probably just too embarrassed to ask for a Kent jersey,” I told Bonds. “I do this all the time for our local athletes, and I’m here to take care of you. I’m just thoughtful like that.”
“Man, I don’t carry a grudge against anyone,” Bonds said, which also pretty much explains why “Bonds on Bonds” is no longer on the air.
“No grudge -- then this is perfect -- your very own Kent jersey for your collection,” I said. “And you live here now [in the off-season], and we’re talking about the kids at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. You should be bidding for this.”
“OK,” Bonds said, “I don’t see any reason why not if it’s for the kids. So what’s the deal? I get a Kent jersey.... “
“Yeah, and two tickets to the Dodgers’ first playoff game at home this season,” I told him, and you would’ve thought George Mitchell just walked into the room with the look I got.
“I’ll pass,” Bonds said. “You were going real good there until you got to the playoff tickets. I’m not going to do anything to hurt my team.”
I told him, “You can send two kids from Mattel’s to the Dodgers’ first playoff game,” and he said, “I’m out of it.”
And that’s exactly what I was trying to say when I suggested he send two kids from Mattel’s to the Dodgers’ playoff game. Then he could just stay home and watch the playoffs on TV. Maybe even wear his Kent jersey while sitting there.
WHEN I told Kent that I had given Bonds the chance to bid on his jersey, he sat back in his chair and just howled.
“I’d shake your hand,” he said as we parted, “but you just shook Barry’s hand.”
I HAD no idea so many people were interested in a Kent autographed jersey, although I suspect it had more to do with the chance of maybe sitting next to Eva Longoria at a playoff game.
James Denton e-mailed to say, “I’m an actor on ‘Desperate Housewives.’ I play Teri Hatcher’s boyfriend, the plumber -- a step away from a Grocery Bagger,” but obviously paid better, because he made a very generous bid on the Kent jersey.
“I’d give it to him right now,” shrieked Miss Radio Personality, and I’m not sure we were talking about the same thing.
Broadcaster Larry King had the top bid for a while, and said his son, Chance, is a big fan of Jeff Kent. I wanted to immediately give the kid the jersey so he’d have something to cover his head and ears every time his dad started talking about the good old days in Brooklyn.
E-mailer David Tyler said he’d donate $1,500 for a Salma Hayek autographed Angels jersey, and although I’m sure she’d be more than willing to take the shirt off her back for the kids, I’ll need a few seconds here before I can continue.
AND THE winner, with a bid of $2,750, is e-mailer Greg Yoshida, who said he “just wanted a jersey from ‘Mr. Chuckles.’ ”
“Hey, for this price,” he added, “I sure hope the seats are good.”
For that price, I sure the hope the Dodgers make it to the playoffs.
PAM SHRIVER and her 10-month-old daughter will be guests on the father/daughter gabfest on 570 at 9 a.m. today. The baby has been invited to cry and keep everyone awake since we’ll be discussing tennis.
TODAY’S LAST word comes from the big screen at Dodger Stadium:
Between innings, as they did earlier in the week, the Dodgers ran a movie ad for “Beerfest.”
Saturday was “Kids Day” at the stadium, though, giving youngsters of all ages the chance to hear one of the film’s actors telling them: “I’m better when I’m drunk.”
A Dodgers official, after being asked about the movie’s message, returned later to say, “The ad has been pulled and will not be shown again.”
T.J. Simers can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.