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The Inside Track

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June 10, 2002|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

What: "This Gracious Season"

Author: Josh Suchon

Publisher: Winter Publications

Price: $24.99

Barry Bonds plans to release his autobiography later this year. In the meantime, here's a book that provides an inside look at Bonds' record-setting season last year, when he hit 73 home runs. The author is the San Francisco Giant beat writer for the Oakland Tribune.

In the acknowledgments Suchon writes, "This book is unauthorized, but I believe this is a book Barry would want on his bookshelf at home."

Although this 390-page book is certainly not all puff--"I simply wrote what I witnessed and lived for one year," writes Suchon--Southern Californians who don't like Bonds may view it as slanted toward the positive.

The book opens with Bonds tying Mark McGwire's record of 70 home runs, then reverts to spring training in 2001, where there is much discussion of pending contract negotiations, because Bonds is in the last year of his deal. His record-setting 71st home run against the Dodgers is discussed toward the end of the book.

The epilogue provides details of the five-year, $90-million contract Bonds signed in January.

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