Third Generation Bonds Gets A Hit, And Rob Neyer Turns It Into A Hit Piece

Nikolai Bonds was an omnipresent cheerleader during his father's quest for history. Now he's 19 and arrested for assaulting his mother. They grow up so fast.

For unknown reasons, Nikolai went after Sun Bonds, Barry's wife from 1988 to 1994. He's been charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, false imprisonment, vandalism, and obstructing and resisting an officer. Plus he spat on her.

In addition to allegedly assaulting his mother during the argument, Bonds smashed picture frames and vases, destroying $400 worth of property, Acker said. He also blocked the door so his mother couldn't leave, she added.

At one point, he threw a metal doorknob at her "so hard that it embedded itself into the wall, but it missed her," Acker said. Sun Bonds was uninjured.

So, sad story, but we should let private matters stay private, right? Not if you're Rob Neyer, who I respect immensely, but for some reason decided this was all Barry Bonds's fault.

He recalls the time Barry used Nikolai as a pretense to criticize media coverage of himself, a shady move to be sure. But then this follows:

I know that a lot of baseball players aren't exactly devoted husbands and fathers. By most accounts, Barry Bonds' dad was far from a model parent. But this was beyond the pale. Bonds did something a parent should never, ever do: he used his child as a weapon.

That's the day that he lost me. I don't suppose it's fair, but I've never felt any sympathy for Bonds since then.

I feel sorry for Nikolai Bonds. His father has never grown up, and it's hard to imagine that his family life has ever been remotely stable. At 19, he's still got a chance to grow up, maybe even become reasonably happy. It's not going to be easy, though. Not with the hand he's been dealt.

Barry Bonds is probably not a very good human being, but I'm not sure he's to blame for Nikolai's outburst. He and Sun were divorced 15 years ago, and thanks to a prenup, he owed nobody anything. But he still sends her money every month, and very publicly remained a part of Nikolai's life. So it's kind of a low blow here, Rob.

Menlo Park Police Arrest Son Of Barry Bonds After Assault [Palo Alto Daily News]
A Sad Story Gets A Little Sadder [ESPN.com]