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Was Respected Astros Manager Dusty Baker Responsible for Giants Legend Barry Bonds Taking Steroids?

Published 07/22/2023, 12:31 PM EDT

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Controversy is what follows Barry Bonds even today despite having played his last MLB game more than 15 years ago. The San Francisco Giants legend is remembered for his mammoth home run record and the PEDs associated with it. With the roots of his PED usage tracing to many years ago, questions have arisen over his former manager, Dusty Baker’s role in it. 

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Baker is a well-respected figure in the baseball world and currently manages the Houston Astros. But when allegations of Bonds’ misdemeanors with steroids first popped up, he was required to answer questions. People wondered if Baker knew what was happening behind the scenes.

Nobody Reviewed Barry Bonds’ Personal Trainer


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In 1998, Greg Anderson, who was Barry Bonds’ trainer, reportedly started slipping the star outfielder steroids. This one moment in history changed the Giants’ star’s life forever. But according to the ‘Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds,’ author Jeff Pearlman, then-Giants manager Dusty Baker may have played a role in it.

Neither he nor GM Brian Sabean questioned or looked into Anderson’s background. If they had, it might have rung some alarm bells. By allowing Anderson access to players, they might have indirectly had a role in Bonds taking steroids. 


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On page 202 of the book, Pearlman said, “…not Peter Magowan, not Larry Baer, not Brian Sabean, not Dusty Baker—bothered to check the credentials of Greg Anderson, Bonds’s new personal trainer and a man spending a significant amount of time around San Francisco’s players. His background was disturbing.”

He continued, “Three times in his life Anderson had been in trouble with the law: once after shoplifting a bottle of cologne from Macy’s, twice after road rage incidents that ended in physical altercations between Anderson and other motorists. With any other professional sports franchise, Anderson would almost certainly have been denied access.” 

Anderson was Bonds’ old friend and Baker, along with the other top brass, did not want to upset the star in any way. But it led to a scandal that cost him one of the biggest achievements in his playing career


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Bonds Had a Hostile Relationship With Baker

Barry Bonds had very few people that stood up for him. Dusty Baker was one of them. But despite this, he did not maintain a good relationship with the well-respected manager. This was due to his hostile nature and tendency to confront teammates and coaches alike.

Furthermore, Bonds was unreasonable most of the time and maintained a distance from everyone. It is impossible to pinpoint blame on anybody in this case with utmost certainty. 


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Watch This Story: Barry Bonds drops a bombshell–”Yankees nearly signed me, but Giants prevailed.”

Although the Giants and then-manager Baker could have been more careful, they can’t be blamed for Barry Bonds’ actions. What do you think about the way the team’s top brass acted?

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Written by:

Pranay Mukherjee


One take at a time

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