I read a story yesterday that said Barry Bonds' trial date will be next March. Then the law will decide whether he lied to a grand jury about his use of steroids.

Which got me thinking about Bonds.

Which in turn got me thinking about Roger Clemens.

Which in turn got me thinking about dumping my refrigerator leftovers on both of them.

Clemens, what a guy. He fumes. He blusters. He lectures. He condescends.

If you didn't know better, you'd think he was on some kind of drug.

Which brings me back to my dilemma: Whom should I respect as a great athlete, despite his flaws — Barry "Bubblehead" Bonds or Roger "Anger Management" Clemens?

Isn't there a reasonable third choice like, say, O.J. Simpson?

The story said prosecutors have rewritten the home run king's indictment. Nothing new, just the same allegations but in a clearer format. Bonds is charged with 14 counts of lying under oath and one count of obstructing justice.

He appeared at his hearing Friday but said nothing.

Through his lawyers, though, he basically told the feds to take a flying leap.

Of course, that's what he's been telling most everyone for at least 20 years.

Bonds, who claims to be a family man, allegedly had affairs and took performance-enhancers. Sounds a lot like a certain competition-loving, flame-throwing Texan, doesn't it?

Bonds produced fantastic numbers at an age when he should have been shopping for bifocals. Ditto for Clemens.

Bonds apologized for pointing a finger at teammate Mark Sweeney when amphetamines were spotted in Bonds' locker. Clemens apologized for something, but it's unclear exactly what.

"I need to say that I have made mistakes in my personal life, for which I am sorry," said Clemens a few weeks ago.

Maybe he forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste.

So here I am, wondering who I like least. Close call. Is it Bonds, who loves to get in peoples' faces and make them uncomfortable? Or Clemens, who seems to consider questions like "How's it going?" accusatory? The guy whose former girlfriend claims he said, "I'm gonna cut your head off and leave you in a ditch" or the one who began a relationship — you decide what kind — with a 15-year-old girl?

Is it Bonds, who reportedly asked his girlfriend if it were obvious that he was juiced, then publicly denied he was, or Clemens, who knows nothing about human growth hormones, even though his wife does?

There are actually supposed to be some differences between Bonds and Clemens. While Bonds is considered a jerk by almost everyone — seen any "We Love You, Barry" signs at the ball yard lately? — Clemens is said to have treated underlings decently.

At least he looked like a good guy on those phone commercials.

Both are taking the indignant approach, Bonds by suing the writers who claimed he took steroids, and Clemens by suing a former trainer who insisted the Rocket was juiced.

One is among the greatest sluggers in history, the other among the greatest pitchers in history.

Both are among the most unlikable figures in history.

Both say they're innocent and they're sticking to their stories.

So there you have it, the Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum of baseball. Guys who at worst compromised the game's integrity by taking steroids and lying about it. At best, they're guys who set poor examples.

Guys so slimy you want to take a shower after shaking their hand.

Guys who think they're so important that fans should just take them at their word.

Guys who are just plain unlikable.

I'm voting for O.J. being the most likable of the three.

At least he has those gag lines in "Naked Gun" to his credit.


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