Bonds 2, Feds 0, Bottom of the Ninth Inning

 

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When his 15 Federal indictments first came down, it seemed like Barry Bonds would spend at least a few Summers in the confines of a Federally mandated corrections facility. Magically, or by a lack of solid witness to evidence match-ups, the indictment numbers suddenly began to lessen until 5 indictment remained when the case first went to trial.


It seemed like the U S District Attorney’s office decided to trim their previous indictment list to the best case scenario charges that could get a conviction to stick to MLB’s All Time Home Run leader like pine tar. The prosecutor seemed to have a solid game plan, sending 25 different witnesses to the witness over the last 2 ½ weeks to try and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, the intention and deception by Bonds.


In another interesting twist of fate, the Federal prosecutor today asked U S District Judge Susan Illston to dismiss another one of the Government’s once concrete charges. Within a minutes time, Bond’s total indictment had been trimmed to 4 now with the prosecution resting it case, and his defensive team about to take their whacks in the box.


The charge dropped today concerned Bond’s testimony back in 2003 when he was accused of lying to a Grand Jury in regards to his testimony he took nothing but vitamins from former Giants trainer Greg Anderson. At no time during the trial did the government prove with any clarity that Bond’s was given Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) in either injectable or “Clear” or “Creme” form.


Swing and a miss by the government. It was a pure back-door slider that exploded through the box and they missed it big time.


STRIKE ONE!


ap-cde43e93f0f1444e9651bddfb4605c55.jpgThe 8 women, 4 men jury did not even get comfortable in their chairs before Bond’s defense attorney strutted to the front of the courtroom and announced the defense was going to rest, without calling a single witness.


A very brazen and confident move considering Bonds, if found guilty could be ultimately facing up to 10 years in prison for each charge. Reality is that according to Federal sentencing guidelines, Bonds could actually face only possible 15-21 months of Federal confinement if convicted.


 

 

The four charges still remaining  against Bonds are:

 

  1. Bonds lying about receiving performance enhancing steroids from Anderson.

  2. Bonds lying about receiving growth hormones from Anderson.

  3. Bonds making a false statements that only a “doctor” injected him.

  4. Bonds is accused of obstructing justice.


But even with these 4 charges still remaining on the board, the Federal prosecutor definitely had more than one “swing and miss” during this trial. Take Day 11 when the defense attorney Cristina Arguedas quickly brought up a contradiction in Bond’s former girlfriend Kimberly Bell’s Grand Jury testimony that she ” wrote her own diary”. Suddenly Arguedas threw another breaking ball that Bell testified during this recent trial that she and her “ghost writer” Aphrodite Jones collaborated on her diary.


STRIKE TWO!


Then in a great show of promotional skill, Bond’s defense attorney Allen Ruby had the entire courtroom on the edges of their seats as he proclaimed he was going to call 6 witnesses, including Bonds to the witness chair. But in a great P T Barnum moment, Ruby did not have to call Bond’s or nay of his witnesses to the stand as the defense team felt confident the government failed to prove its charges beyond a reasonable doubt.


In the entire trial, only one eyewitness account was given to show any intent or verification of any of the charges against Bonds. With Anderson still sitting in a jail cell on a contempt charge for refusing to testify, only this one singular eyewitness was called to the stand, and they did not know the substance injected into Bonds on that occasion.


ap-e7a0a5b99da14e80b9dc48a09c06200b.jpgThe jury could ultimately get their say in the case as early as Thursday afternoon as closing arguments will commence in the morning. In all likelihood the jury could come back with their decision, barring a split vote, as early as Friday afternoon just in time for the 1:35 pm PT home opener for the San Francisco Giants.


Ultimately the Federal government doesn’t seem to have given a solid and viable reason for the jury to ultimately convict Bond’s on all 4 counts. If Ruby or Arguedas can provide a solid, fact-filled closing argument with pinpoint accuracy, with Ruby possibly throwing one hard and tight in on the prosecutor’s hands.


With a current 0-2 count against the Federal government, a persuasive last pitch effort by the defense could provide a distinctive “called Third Strike” on the Federal prosecutor’s case. Might be the most important save opportunity in San Francisco since Giants closer Brian Wilson blew his last pitch by Ranger’s slugger Nelson Cruz, not 3 miles away.

 

 

10 Comments

Thanks for the recap…I was wondering how it was going. I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing. My sister-in-law has been friends with Bonds since his Pittsburgh days. He is a really nice guy off the field. But being nice does not always equate with honesty I guess. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

I don’t know if he’s truly innocent or guilty. I probably never will either. I did enjoy your baseball analogy to the trial though. Thanks!

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty, but I do think and I’m adamant by saying this, unswaying in my opinion that they should take out his record in the Hall of Fame until it is proven, then again it’s still Hank’s and always will be.

–Mark Gauthier
http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

Jenn,
Got a wild gut feeling Bonds will be found not guilty on three charges and guilty on one charge. Possibly getting a long probation and a possible short term detention in a minimal security/ Country Club detention center like Eglin AFB in Pensacola, Florida.
Still, the case has done nothing to turn Bonds either into a hero or a criminal, only the way he treated the public for so long is heinous.

Rays Renegade

Ron,
It shocks me in the time, resources and money spent to bring this whole episode to fruition. I can rationalize a murder victim, or so event that cost millions or destroyed lives via banks accounts or Ponzi schemes being fought with such fever, but this seems more about a loss of face now.
The Federal prosecuter seems in a battle of getting back their respect than proving right or wrong anymore.
Waste of millions of dollars, and important court time and resources.

Rays Renegade

Mark,
I have to disagree with you there.
In this country, an athlete or celebrity is guilty by press acknowledgment until a jury acquits them. That is the price of fame. You can be raked over the burning coals and accosted as a guilty person without a jury of your peers even assembled yet. It is called the court of public opinion, and it is sometimes worse than a hanging judge and can follow you the rest of your life.

Rays Renegade

This whole thing has gotten petty and gone on way too long. I’ve suspected for a long time that at worse Bonds would get probation and would never see the inside of a jail.

That being said, it’s pretty obvious he knew what he was taking and he lied to cover his tracks. While me and the U.S. Government may disagree, I don’t think Bonds is a danger to society. He was one of several players juicing at the time in a time when it was accepted within baseball’s ranks.

I have to agree with you, Norm15. I think it’s ridiculous how many millions have been spent on trying to prove someone committed perjury. I’m a long-time Giants fan saddened by the stain Barry’s “alleged” steroid use has left on the team, the homerun record and on a stellar athlete who didn’t need to use performance enhancing drugs and should’ve known better. That said, Bonds was just one of many players using PEDs while trainers, coaches and MLB brass looked the other way. I just hope the steroids era is behind us and that young players today have learned from their predecessors.

The money lost on this prosecution would not save the government shutdown right now, but every dollar counts. The main thing is Bonds stood defiant and the government needed to save face…somehow.
This is one of those frivolous lawsuit situations that ruin the judicial process.
Check and balances aside, this case should have never gotten this far with insubstancial evidence.

Rays Renegade

Imagamer,
When I was in college Winstrol was first hitting the lockerrooms. It was the ” thing to do” if you wanted to add bulk without huge amounts of work….The first baby steps of anabolic steroids.
Whether he did, or didn’t is not important because the court of public opinion already has judged him guilty, like McQwire even though the chemicals were not banned at the initial time of their HR numbers rising.
No matter if Bonds is innocient or guilty, the tarnish this has all done to the game’s image and the Home Run itself can not be repaired, only patched and hope it can rise above the mess.

Rays Renegade

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