Dog Bites

Baseball's Been Very, Very Bad to Him
We knew Barry Bonds was misunderstood. We knew he was unfairly persecuted. But we didn't know how really, really awful he felt about it.

"The Bible says you don't have to be nice, or not nice. Just speak the truth," an apparently tearful Bonds told Baseball Weekly. "Jesus spoke the truth all the time, but not everybody liked him, either."

Sniff! Bonds says that despite the $31.4 million the Giants owe him for the remaining three years of his contract, it's all he can do to stay in the game. "The pain is so great sometimes I just want to walk off the field," he says, averring that baseball has broken him down "mentally, physically and emotionally" to a point that's almost killed him.

Gulp! And don't look for Bonds to stick around once his contract's up, either. "I'll disappear, go to the Hall of Fame ceremony five years later, and then you won't ever see me again," he promises.

-- Laurel Wellman

Bank on It
Advising readers on "What Features to Expect from Your 401(k)," the San Francisco Chronicle's business section took a hard look at the various retirement plan options offered by different companies.

Experts cited by the paper said employees at a "reasonably large and profitable firm" should expect, among other benefits, a matching 401(k) contribution from their employer. The most common formula is 50 cents for every $1 put in by the worker, up to a set limit. And according to the article, only 10 percent of all companies surveyed are too cheap to match contributions.

Only, um, Dog Bites hears that the "reasonably large and profitable firm" that is the San Francisco Chronicle is one of the companies that offers no match.

The Chron does pay into a "Retirement Income Plan" -- roughly $70 per week for each full-time employee. The main catch: An employee who leaves before his or her plan vests -- which requires working at the paper five years -- gets nothing.

-- T.S.

More Chron Disgruntlement
Then there are the employees who just aren't going to be happy no matter what

you do. The Web page for the News Mait Writers' Cooperative (newsmait.com/intel.htm) monitors disgruntlement at major newspapers across North America, encouraging readers to post comments on their workplaces -- anonymously, of course. Journalists, generally a disgruntled lot at the best of times, have responded enthusiastically.

Witness one recent complaint about the Chron:
"I have worked at a half a dozen major newspapers across the country and I have never seen the kind of sleazy politics and backstabbing that occur at the San Francisco Chronicle," whines the writer. "On top of that, say a wrong word and you have women predators who can't wait to file sexual harassment charges."

The same correspondent also complains of the editors' supposed pro-gay, -lesbian, and -feminist biases. What, nothing about the lousy retirement plan?

-- Laurel Wellman

The Original 10 O'Clock Soap Opera
TV watchers around the Bay Area were agog last Wednesday night when beloved anchor Elaine Corral resigned from her spot as anchor of Channel 2's evening news on the air.

The Chron even suggested the timing of Corral's announcement was suspicious -- one night after the debut of a new sitcom in which a news anchor pretended to quit on the air in order to get a pay raise. But Dog Bites hears that actually, things were pretty tense at the office. Corral and co-anchor Dennis Richmond, who professed shock at her resignation, hadn't spoken in months, partly because Corral was angry that Richmond always got to read the lead news story. In fact, the battling anchors' desks had to be moved to opposite ends of the newsroom.

And further drama may be anticipated. Corral will be replaced by weekend anchor Leslie "you know, the blond one" Griffith. But a source inside KTVU says Griffith and weeknight sports reporter Mark Ibanez don't get along. At all. They get along so badly that some KTVU staffers have quietly started a pool to guess the number of nights Ibanez will find himself doing live remotes from, uh, well, somewhere else.

-- Laurel Wellman

Inhale Sharply
Ultrasupport undergarments have been a perennial topic in women's fashion magazines since the days of whalebone. But Dog Bites has always considered this gender bias unfair. After all, shouldn't men be allowed to cheat on their measurements, too?

San Francisco's own fetish lingerie manufacturer Romantasy apparently agreed -- they've just launched a line of corsets for men. Called "Corvests," they're high-compression devices disguised as tux-appropriate evening vests. "Believe me, it really works!" swears one satisfied customer.

Of course, truth-in-advertising laws have never applied to human beings. So the aforementioned unmentionables, which go for between $300 and $500, are just one more reason for single women to remain wary.

-- Laurel Wellman

Dog Bites welcomes tips, especially those pertaining to disgruntlement. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail dogbites@sfweekly.com.

 
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