By Patrick Hruby
Page 2 columnist

Barry Bonds is "clearly" on the juice. But don't take our word for it.

In fact, please don't take our word for it. We can't afford the subsequent libel suit, particularly now that the Disney/Comcast deal fell through.

Instead, talk to Colorado Rockies reliever Turk Wendell. Earlier this week, Wendell told the Denver Post that Bonds looks like a steroid user.

Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was recently charged with distributing steroids to athletes and is a key figure in an ongoing federal probe centered around a Bay Area supplement lab.

Turk Wendell
"Hey, what kind of nickname is Turk, anyway? Now, Goose, there's a nickname ..."

"Obviously, he did it," Wendell said of Bonds. "... [I]t's clear just seeing his body."

Bonds, who denies using steroids, lashed back at Wendell, telling reporters that the Rockies pitcher should have spoken to him instead of through the media, calling the reliever's actions "chicken----." Still, Wendell's use of "clear" and "obvious" brings to mind an old Page 2 favorite, "Saturday Night Live's" Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer ...

VOICEOVER: "One hundred thousand years ago, a caveman was out throwing stones in the Rocky Mountains when he slipped and fell into a crevasse. In 2003, he was discovered by some major-league scouts and thawed out. He then signed with Colorado and became ... Unfrozen Caveman Relief Pitcher."

OPEN on a major-league clubhouse. Reporters and television crews crowding around Barry Bonds and Turk Wendell, who are standing at opposite sides of the room.

REPORTER: "Mr. Wendell, do you think Barry Bonds' strapping physique and eye-popping home run totals are all natural?"

WENDELL: "It's just 'Turrrrk,' thank you. [stepping forward] Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and was later thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me!

"Sometimes, when I ride in a limousine from our charter flight to a four-star hotel and then to the stadium, I wonder: Am I inside the belly of a giant Sabertooth tiger? Am I being eaten alive? I don't know ... because I'm just a caveman and that's how I think! When I'm standing on the pitcher's mound, I ask myself if it's some sort of altar ... and if I should be on my knees, driving a stone ax into a sacrificial goat or virgin to ensure a bountiful harvest. When I see my face on 'Baseball Tonight,' I shudder with fear -- is Peter Gammons an evil witch doctor from another tribe? Is he stealing my soul?

Barry Bonds
"Why am I laughing? Because I already know what will happen when Turk faces me."

"Even now, I am perplexed by your microphones and tape recorders, which are beyond the understanding of my primitive caveman brain. But whatever world you're from, I do know one thing: If my unfrozen caveman personal trainer, me, Turk Wendell, got indicted for that, there's no one in the current world -- or in the savage, kill-or-be-killed world I come from -- who wouldn't think that I'm taking steroids. I mean, what, just because he's Barry Bonds, no one's going to say that?

"But what do I know? I'm just a caveman."

TELEVISION REPORTER: [to nearby cameraman] "Great. That's all we need for the 5 o'clock broadcast. Turk's words are just as true now as they were in his time."

BONDS: "Hey! Wait a @#$^-ing second! If an unfrozen caveman relief pitcher has something to say, say it to my face. Don't talk through the media."

WENDELL: "Huh? Oh, I'm sorry. [takes off headphones]. I was listening to the tiny men trapped inside this strange modern device! What sort of black magic can fit an entire rock band into what you call an 'IPod?'

This confuses me, like your 'fast food.' Who are the spirit voices taking my order? Are they my ancestors? And the pimply-faced teenager behind the counter -- did he really slaughter the Wooly Mammoth that became my burger? He's just a boy, too small for the hunt! My unsophisticated Cro-Magnon brain grows weary ...

"However, there's one thing that doesn't give me a headache to think about: Barry's trainer admitted to giving steroids to baseball players. He just doesn't want to say his name. You don't have to ..."

Caveman
"Look at me: I'm big and strong and all I do is follow the Atkins diet."

BONDS: [interrupting Wendell] "@#^#^-damn it! I'm not worried about him. I'm not worried about anyone. I have a lot of respect for Turk Wendell. I have a lot of respect for every baseball player in this game. You got something to say, you come to my face and say it and we'll deal with each other. Don't talk through the media like you're some tough unfrozen caveman guy."

WENDELL: "... and what of your high-speed 'Inter-Net?' What sort of fish do you catch in it? Much of your world is a mystery to me. But even a simple caveman can tell that Barry's juicing. It's clear just seeing his body. C'mon, look at his Paleozoic forehead. Why, he resembles my brother, who choked to death on the rib bone of a giant, two-toed sloth! In my time, your modern Heimlich maneuver was unheard of.

[recoiling in horror as a camera light turns on] Ahhhh! The sun gods are displeased!"

DENNY NEAGLE: "Turk speaks the timeless truth. It is a pretty good coincidence that some of the names that are linked to them are the guys that are the big, massive, overmuscular looking guys.

"I don't know or remember what Jason Giambi looked like back in his early days, but I know he was not as big as he is now. The jury is always going to be out on Barry."

GARY SHEFFIELD: "Test me! Test me! I'm clean! Who has an empty coffee cup? I'll pee in it right now! [whispering] If the union lets me."

WENDELL: "... when I sit down for dinner and see a salad, I take a moment to reflect: Am I to eat these leafy greens? Or should I use them to wipe my soiled buttocks? And what kind of thirsty water demon lives in the toilet? Is he at war with the fire demons that appear in the sky after game-winning home runs? Sometimes I am approached by groupies. I ask myself: Should I club them with a bat and drag them by the hair back to my hotel room? And what of their large, fake breasts? Have two giant mangoes been placed under the skin?

"In my world, a world of pea-brained cavemen, mangoes are a rare delicacy, like a day without fleas and leeches. Still, there are some things that I can comprehend. Such as: Sheffield's bold promises ring hollow, because the player's union will never allow him to take an independent drug test. Besides, anyone with half a brain -- or even myself -- would have stopped using as soon as baseball introduced random testing.

"But what do I know of testosterone precursors and THG? [smiles maliciously] I'm just a caveman ..."

Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times.




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UNFROZEN CAVEMAN PITCHER