Barry Bonds found to dislike answering questions — no surprise to reporters — but walks on steroids charges

Posted: 04/14/2011 in baseball
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Barry Bonds went on trial for lying about steroids use and the only thing he was found guilty of is that he’s not a big fan of answering questions.

I’m guessing most baseball reporters were already keenly aware that Bonds can be mighty evasive when he doesn’t like the subject matter.

Federal agents don’t like seeking answers and not getting them. So Bonds was found guilty of an obstruction of justice charge by a unanimous vote on Wednesday but getting a guilty verdict on only the least damaging count of the four charges would be like being told you won a new car and then only having the tires delivered.

In other words, obstruction of justice wasn’t the outcome federal agents and prosecutors spent millions of dollars on in hopes of achieving. This was supposed to be about proving Bonds used steroids during his spectacular but highly tainted baseball career.

Bonds walked on the three biggest charges tied to his grand jury questioning from 2003: lying about using steroids; lying about using human growth hormone, and lying about being injected with needles by people other than doctors.

It was those three charges that could have ended the speculation on whether or not Bonds was juiced through the final segment of his baseball career. Sure, a lot of the details in the trial and other circumstantial evidence over the past decade have painted Bonds as a user of performance-enhancing drugs but Bonds can always point out that he wasn’t convicted.

It’s a horrible feeling when you know you are correct about something but the other person can scoff at you and deny it, isn’t it?

Makes me glad I’m not a Baseball Hall of Fame voter though I suspect the suspicions are so high that Bonds will never have a bust in Cooperstown.

As for Bonds, he was so disturbed by being convicted on a felony that he flashed the victory sign to supporters upon leaving the courthouse. That doesn’t sound like someone who had a bad day now, does it?

The obstruction of justice charge calls for a prison sentence of 15 to 21 months. But don’t expect to find Bonds wearing prison pinstripes anytime soon.

In one of the previous BALCO drug cases, cyclist Tammy Thomas was sentenced to six months of home confinement.

I’m guessing Bonds’ mansion isn’t a bad place to be hanging out for six months. Think of all the amenities someone with his money has and it’s hard to call that a bad deal for Bonds.

Send most criminals to Bonds’ house to serve their sentences and I’m sure they would refer to it as a vacation.

To me, it wasn’t a surprise Bonds wasn’t convicted on the steroids charges. It was clear his defense team was confident the prosecution hadn’t proved its case when they passed on calling witnesses to the stand.

It certainly helped Bonds that two of the leading prosecution witnesses – former Bonds mistress Kimberly Bell and former friend and business associate Steve Hoskins – had severe credibility issues. Also, former Bonds trainer Greg Anderson – the alleged provider of steroids to Bonds and other players – again refused to cooperate with federal agents, preferring to spend time in jail than testifying under oath.

Perhaps the saddest thing that occurred Wednesday was baseball commissioner Bud Selig issuing a statement about how the trial shows how successful the sport’s drug testing has been the past eight seasons. Selig’s timing was pretty poor when you consider it doesn’t qualify as a day for boasting when the holder of baseball’s single-season and all-time home run records was on trial for alleged steroids use.

What the day’s events remind me of is how Selig and other leading officials closed their eyes to what was going on around them during the height of steroids area.

In fact, Bonds wasn’t even convicted of using steroids so Selig’s message is close to meaningless.

Unless the commish just learned Wednesday that Bonds isn’t a big fan of answering questions from authority figures.

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Comments
  1. Don in Mass says:

    If and when his name is put on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame, he will have that black cloud hanging over his, along with McGwire and Palmeiro. To think a lot of fans would look up to these guys.
    As for Bud Selig, he’s a joke, and he should never have been made commissioner.

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