Barry Bonds may be a home run king (the godson of Willie Mays and the only man to hit 500 homers and steal 500 bases in his career owns both the career home run record and the single-season record, 762 and 73, respectively), but he can't seem to hold onto a wife. According to Yahoo! Sports, the seven-time Most Valuable Player is legally separating from his wife of nearly nine years, Liz Watson.
The slugger (who could actually field his position well to the tune of 8 Gold Gloves, awarded to the best fielder at each position, until his head and muscles proved too ungainly) has been a lightning rod for controversy. If a divorce goes through, it will be Barry Bonds' second after splitting from his first wife, Susann Branco, in 1994. His disposition towards teammates could be described as chilly to downright cold. His relationship with the press could be called antagonistic. And the allegations of his use of the juice (steroids, Human Growth Hormone, The Cream, The Clear, uppers, downers, reds, greens, et cetera) will likely tarnish this legacy.
While being a great teammate does not necessarily make one a great husband (Joe DiMaggio was an exemplary team player but a much better ex than husband to Marilyn Monroe), it's not really surprising that Bonds has had difficulty with interpersonal relationships. Though their attitudes towards being role models for fans were quite similar, Bonds never has had anything approaching the charisma that Charles Barkley exhibits. Also, through no real fault of his own, Bonds' career has been marked by great personal achievement and zero team championships. That seems like it could be a metaphor of some kind. Read: What Do Pro Athletes Know About Marriage?
Though ultimately their attitudes have had similar polarizing effects on fans, teammates, lovers and championships; Bonds is quite a study in contrast to similarly embattled Yankee Alex Rodriguez. Both have been loci of the steroids scandal and both have had relationships problems (who hasn't?). Like A-Rod, Bonds has had at least one suspect relationship while married (with a gal named Kimberly Bell). It's probably fair to say that Bonds barely cares if you love or hate him, whereas A-Rod seems to give many sh*ts what people think about him. Perhaps being the most individualistic of all of the team sports attracts a certain number of social misfits. Then again, none of these guys have ever been convicted of dog fighting…