“You Can Tell Dusty to Kiss My A*S…”: Giants Legend Barry Bonds Once Attacked Houston Astros Manager Despite His Widespread Respect

Published 07/17/2023, 5:59 AM EDT

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Barry Bonds’ controversial nature led to many dust-ups with teammates. The San Francisco Giants legend was criticized for his loner attitude and lack of team spirit, leading to galore controversies. Once during the 1998 season, he verbally attacked the current Houston Astros manager, despite him being a respected figure. 

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Usually only a few teammates took Bonds’ side in altercations and disputes. But during the 1998 season, Bonds faced some conflicts with other players. His then-manager Dusty Baker came to his defense. But the Giants legend had an off-the-handle reaction which stunned the baseball world. 

Barry Bonds Let Loose at Dusty Baker

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Dusty Baker is a highly respected manager and coach of the Houston Astros. Little to no players had issues with the legendary figurehead. But Barry Bonds was a different type of person in that regard. In his book ‘Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero,’ renowned sports author Jeff Pearlman shared Bonds’ offensive words for Baker. 

During the 1998 season, the superstar slugger let loose when Baker defended Bonds ahead of a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros manager had responded to rumors that Bonds would get hit by a pitch for his previous showboating. But the slugger took exception with his words and let loose at the manager. 

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The 7x MVP was left enraged, remembering a previous incident where Baker had supposedly not taken any action. On page 218 of the book, Bonds says, “You can tell Dusty to kiss my ass. What does Dusty plan to do about it? What did Dusty do when [Dodgers pitcher Antonio] Osuna hit me in my leg last year?” But his aggressive way of dealing with people also extended to teammates and the media.

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Bonds once took down a room full of reporters with violent threats. Moreover, in a shocking turn of events in 2000, Bonds’ altercation and other childish actions may have even lost him an MVP award. 

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Bonds Lost the 2000 MVP Award Because of His Behavior

In 2000, Barry Bonds and his Giants teammate Jeff Kent were neck to neck for the NL MVP award. But throughout the year, Kent showed team spirit and a winning attitude. He regularly hit to score runs and win games, whereas Bonds would take 4-ball walks in critical situations to pad his stats. After his lacking performance in the 2000 NLDS, Bonds lost the MVP race to Kent.

Furthermore, according to Pearlman, Baker backed Kent over Bonds for MVP, not because of personal feelings, but because of Kent’s dependability. 

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Barry Bonds let loose that very few players had done before. What do you think about Bonds harsh and choice words for Dusty Baker?

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Written by:

Pranay Mukherjee

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Pranay Mukherjee is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. His expertise lies in cheat sheets, post-game analysis, and trade rumors, providing readers with comprehensive coverage of the sport. Pranay is an avid follower of baseball and is a staunch supporter of the Yankees, firmly believing that it is time for the New York team to break their World Series jinx.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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