SAN FRANCISCO -- The war of words between Barry Bonds and Bob Costas escalated on Thursday when the Giants slugger charged the longtime commentator with "irresponsible journalism" for his comments and interviews on the current edition of HBO's "Costas Now." "I have consistently said that reporters talk about 'third party' conversations without having specific first-hand knowledge of what they are reporting," Bonds said in his diary, published Thursday on barrybonds.com. "It is irresponsible and many get away with it day after day." On the show, Costas interviewed Patrick Arnold, a chemist, and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who both took issue with Bonds' alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs during the height of Major League Baseball's supposed "steroid era" from 1998-2002.
Bonds went on to say this in the entry: "Costas stated that what I am doing on the field is 'inauthentic' and he made some really strong accusations about me. To quote him, 'He [Bonds] would have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer even before he started juicing. And I'm not in the category of those who say suspected juicer, I live on this planet, I've seen what I've seen, I know what I know.' "I take great offense to those statements, especially coming from someone who is supposed to have journalistic integrity and not make blanket reckless accusations." Asked about the entry after the Giants defeated the Braves, 4-2, on Thursday at AT&T Park, Bonds told MLB.com: "I wanted to be quiet and let the writing speak for itself. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve." Bonds went homerless for the seventh consecutive game on Thursday and remains at 753, two behind Hank Aaron's all-time record of 755. He has started only five of those games. The verbal jousting began Wednesday after the airing of a show in which Arnold, a chemist who went to jail for distributing steroids to athletes in the case stemming from the 2003 raid of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), said he believed Bonds and Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield both used steroids during the time all of them were associated with the lab. "I've never met that guy, I've never seen him in my life," Bonds said about Arnold. "I've never met him in my life. I've never even heard of the guy -- never." About Costas, Bonds said: "Is that the story Bob Costas talked about? A little midget man, who doesn't know jack about baseball, who never played the game before? You can tell Bob Costas what I called him." Schilling said Bonds and retired Cardinals star Mark McGwire should be ostracized for never admitting they used steroids. Bonds has often publicly said that he never used steroids. Back in the lineup on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday night, Bonds declined at the time to address all those allegations. "Don't worry," he said. "My day will come." Costas responded on Thursday by telling The Associated Press that he wasn't upset about Bonds' original comment. "As anyone can plainly see, I'm 5-foot-6 1/2 and a strapping 150, and unlike some people, I came by all of it naturally," Costas quipped. Bonds was apprised of that comment before Thursday's game and retorted: "How do you know?" When the reporter responded that she didn't want to know, Bonds added, "Neither do I." Bonds apologized in the diary entry for denigrating Costas' height. "Yesterday, I was asked about my thoughts about Bob Costas," Bonds said. "My reaction stemmed from my feelings about Costas' statements during a broadcast. The comment I made about him was off-the-cuff and my problem with Costas is not with his height, but with his irresponsible journalism. If my choice of words offended anyone, that was not my intent." For his part, Costas said he could understand why Bonds would have an averse reaction to the show. "He's under tremendous scrutiny and some pressure. It's no big deal," he told The AP. "This is a consequence of doing your job, and I've never tried to do my job in any case with the intention of calling attention to myself. I think if people watch the program, they can judge for themselves."
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.