Remember last week, when we were pointing out that ESPN seemed to be underplaying the Barry Bonds steroid revelations? Some of you thought ESPN was protecting Barry because their upcoming reality show with him, while others defended the network, saying that it was merely reflecting the opinion, "Hey, we all knew he was doing steroids anyway. So what?"

Well, the network has shown its hand, and, somehow, it has come up with a worse reason than either of those two. Turns out, ESPN was holding out because of its own scoop. Kind of. The upcoming ESPN: The Magazine features an excerpt from Jeff "I'm Not Just The John Rocker Guy!" Pearlman's new book, "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds And The Making Of An Antihero." The excerpt, pushed up to compete with the SF Chronicle's reporters' book, claims, according to this morning's "SportsCenter," that Bonds once told Ken Griffey Jr. that he was thinking of eventually doing steroids.

Holy crap, right? Well, the book is apparently less about "gotcha!" moments than an in-depth biography of the man — and we did very much enjoy Pearlman's last book — but it still seems strange that ESPN felt so compelled to play catch the salami. Particularly since their "scoop" seems so light in substance anyway. But hey; when ESPN says it's a story, it's a story. So sit down, shut up and eat your toast.

Publishers Bullish On (Barry) Bonds Market [Wall Street Journal]