It's the annual Barry Bonds retirement press conference. It is kind of like those (dating myself) series of specials that Jack Benny used to have every year in the late 60's, early 70's maybe (not sure when he passed) that was titled his "retirement" show, which of course he had ever year, which was the joke. Or more recently the spate of singers who retire and unretire, like Frank Sinatra, the Eagles, etc.
Every year he's in pain and not sure how much longer he is going to last, every year he's getting that much older and not sure how much longer he is going to play, every year he's tired of the media attention (and of course to remedy that he goes on a reality show on ESPN) and negativity and not sure how much longer he is going to put up with it.
Not that I'm doubting that he feels these things truly and deeply. But like the boy who cried wolf, fans get a bit immune to his annual announcement. Of course, this year is a little different because he only has a contract for 2006 and obviously with no contract for 2007 he has to retire, doesn't he? Or maybe if his aching body is still raring to go and he's not ready to give up his multi-million dollar contracts, he signs somewhere for 2007 (and unless his leg falls off, he's probably going to get some offer, look at The Big Hurt, even he got a contract with the A's, Barry only needs to be relatively healthy to get a much bigger contract, how many games has Frank played in the past few years?)
I can sympathize though. I'm about his age and my body is ranked with pain just getting up sometimes and I have aches where I didn't know I had body part (ba-dum bum! :^). And I haven't beat up my body playing a sport for half the year (I'm part of the original C.P.C - Couch Potato Club - and have earned my Easy Chair many times over). So I know he's not kidding.
But as a fan, while I can sympathize to some extent, and I know this is cold, all we really care about is whether he's going to play for us and play well. Because, whether he likes it or not, it is a business and about $22M of our money is leaving our pockets via some channel, into his bank account.
I don't feel well right now (fighting a cold) but my clients don't really care as long as I am still delivering my service to them, relatively uninterrupted. Well, it's not really much different for him, I'm sorry he's not feeling well and all that, but for $22M (or whatever it really is this year, $18M? $20M?) we kind of expect a great performance, no pressure BTW. And bless his soul, he has done it every year (for the most part) until last year: hopefully he's got another great season in that aching, aging body of his.