While one Giants legend, Willie Mays, accompanied the San Francisco Giants’ World Series trophy during its’ celebratory voyage to New York City (the team’s original home), another Giants legend prepares to fight for his freedom in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. A fight he is likely, but hardly guaranteed, to win.
It has been three long years since Barry Bonds’ original indictment on perjury charges, but it seems like 23, doesn’t it?
After he passed Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list in early 2006—a leap that took nearly two calendar years due to Bonds’ knee problems—he was quoted as saying, “I’m glad it’s over.” The same can be said about the government’s efforts to bring the home run king to apparent justice. One way or the other, it just needs to end. Think about all that has happened in and out of the sports world during the time Bonds was originally indicted (November 2007) through today (January 2011). The NBA’s Lakers won two championships, and the Celtics one. There have been two more Harry Potter follow-up films, and a third just wrapped production. The company I work for, now 1,000+ customers strong, did not exist when Bonds was first brought up on perjury charges.
By most expert accounts, Bonds isn’t going to jail unless Greg Anderson suddenly does an about-face and testifies that he A) shot Bonds up with juice, or B) the urine samples seized from his home were indeed Bonds’. You may recall a mid-2010 news story outlining prosecutorial evidence deemed inadmissible in Bonds’ trial by a judge; those samples were the evidence but without Anderson’s testimony, they’re worthless against Bonds. And Anderson, betrayed by the government in his eyes, will never testify. You’ll see Bonds on the Giants’ active roster again before Anderson ever gives him up.
This writer hopes those experts are correct.
Not because I don’t think Bonds is guilty.
He’s guilty. He intentionally took steroids and he tried to cover it up. Before you say “Then he deserves to be punished!”, know that he has been punished. His career ended prematurely. His body and his reputation are shot and he might not get into the Hall of Fame. People he trusted turned on him, some by choice. Lawyers have sapped up much of his finances. His marriage is over and his son has legal problems of his own. Bonds earned a record 688 free passes as a player; beating these charges will hardly count as #689. At this point, jail might be therapeutic for him.
The reason this writer hopes that Bonds can “whup they ass” in court: so the whole charade will be over. The original grand jury testimony occurred in late 2003. Over seven years ago, and who knows how many dollars ago. Seven years of Bonds walking in and out of courthouses in suits. Seven years of the greatest (San Francisco) Giant ever remaining in the news for his abuse of PED’s, rather than his abuse of 449 different pitchers who involuntarily collaborated to make him the Home Run King.
If Bonds goes to jail, we’ll be subjected to news coverage of his sentencing, transport to jail, any trouble that goes down while he’s there, and of course, a daily countdown leading up to his release. It will be Michael Vick to the 10th power, even though the only violence involved in Bonds’ case was Bonds shooting himself in the foot by failing to be forthright from the start.
After April of this year, when the trial is expected to end, the following words/names/terms are no longer welcome baseball lexicon:
- The Cream
- The Clear
- Greg Anderson
- Mark Geragos
- Flaxseed oil
- Seized documents
- Urine samples
- Personal trainer
- Grand jury
- Victor Conte
- Marion Jones
- Trevor Graham
- Armando Rios/Marvin Benard/Bobby Estallela/Benito Santiago in any non-historical context
- Performance-enhancing drugs
Let’s not associate any of those items with Major League Baseball ever again. They’re about as interesting as the now-dormant barrybonds.com and they need to be forced out of baseball just like Bonds himself was.
So, to all involved in this case—get it over with. FAST. The DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPION Giants will be winding down Spring Training when the trial starts and into the regular season by the time it ends, and we fans want to focus on that and that only. Sure, there was a very long time when Barry Bonds headlines in April were very good things.
That time has passed.
About the Author
Written by Joseph Davis
I've been a Giants' fan since 1990; I still remember my first game at Candlestick as if it were yesterday (Robby Thompson homered and the Giants downed Houston 7-3). Pushed for us to get that elusive championship and at last we GOT IT! You can see me on the softball field every week sporting my orange and black, and I'm raising my little girl to not follow in her A's-fan-mom's footsteps!