Suddenly, Barry Bonds is everywhere

By Carmen Comment

Ever since Sports Illustrated published its first-serial excerpt of GAME OF SHADOWS – which details just how and why Barry Bonds took steroids – the effect has been nothing short of snowball. The WSJ reports that SI’s publication not only spurred Gotham to move up the book’s publication date to March 23, but now ESPN magazine has moved up its own first-serial excerpt of Jeff Pearlman’s upcoming biography “Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero.” HarperCollins is also trying to move the pub date from May to something sooner:

Gotham Publisher William Shinker says he was aware of Mr. Pearlman’s book, but didn’t try deliberately to beat it to market. “I wish I could say we did,” he says. “Our whole strategy was to get the book out for the beginning of spring training.”

And Mr. Perlman’s publisher says it hopes the Chronicle reporters’ book whets readers’ appetites. “I’d like to think of the Balco book as the leadoff hitter, and we’re batting cleanup,” says David Hirshey, executive editor of HarperCollins. “The other way to look at it is that the Balco book is an investigation into Watergate, while we’ve got the definitive biography of Richard Nixon.”

As for SI’s excerpt, the NYT’s Lia Miller reported the magazine got it for a relative bargain, somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000. Also, SI managing editor Terry McDonnell said that “there was more activity on Sports Illustrated’s Web site after the excerpt was posted than on the day the swimsuit issue went online.”