Plug pulled on 'Bonds on Bonds'

Plug pulled on 'Bonds on Bonds'

NEW YORK -- "Bonds on Bonds," the short-lived inside look at the life of Giants slugger Barry Bonds, is kaput, Bonds said Saturday before the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets at Shea Stadium.

A final hour-long episode that was supposed to memorialize Bonds hitting homer No. 715 last Sunday to pass Babe Ruth into second on the all-time list was officially canned Friday. That episode, originally slated for this past Monday, was delayed because the producers said there was no time to give the milestone homer the attention it needed.

But ESPN, which had aired the series, said that it had severed its relationship with Bonds, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing "editorial control by Bonds' representatives for a planned final episode" as the reason for making the decision.

"It's OK if they put it on me," Bonds said Saturday. "Isn't that what everyone else does?"

The show was supposed to extend until the July 10-12 All-Star Game break. Tollin/Robbins, the production company that filmed and produced it, contracted with ESPN Entertainment and Bonds to provide 10 hours of programming. Without the final episode, only 4 1/2 hours made it on the air.

The original concept was that the show would return if and when Bonds ever approaches Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. Bonds remains 40 behind Aaron's all-time leading 755. But apparently now that's not going to happen.

Bonds' handlers contend that he had editorial approval of what appeared on the show and said he would've spent less time interviewing reporters about their impressions of Bonds and more time dwelling on his personal life.

At the time Mike Tollin announced the deal to produce the show this past February during the opening weeks of Spring Training in Scottsdale, Ariz., he acknowledged that Bonds, as well as ESPN, Major League Baseball and the Giants would have the right to approve segments of the show.

Bonds said back then that he would exercise whatever prerogative he had to make sure the shows gave him a broader view than what is normally portrayed in the daily media.

Production of the show had its problems at times. And the Bonds camp did have some creative differences. Bonds wanted more of his family and friends' lives detailed on the show, which often dwelled on the weekly controversies that plague the 41-year-old slugger as he tied and passed Ruth over the first 50 games of the season.

"At this point, I don't know and I don't care about it," Bonds said Saturday. "It's over. I'd rather not get into the details of it right now."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.