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Blog Entry

What does guilty verdict mean for Barry Bonds?

Posted on: April 13, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 7:17 pm
 

BondsBy Evan Brunell

Barry Bonds was found guilty of obstruction of justice on Wednesday, but the jury in Bonds' case could not come to an accord on the perjury charge which cracks the door open for his Hall of Fame chances.

While the government could still re-try Bonds on the three counts of perjury for telling the grand jury charged with making some sense of the whole steroid mess in 2003 that he did not knowingly use steroids or human growth hormone, the main takeaway from today is that the steroid era is most definitively not over.

Everyone thought that once Bonds was strung up on guilty counts or found innocent, that it would help to bring the steroid era to a close. But as has happened time and time again, somehow the one solution that ends up continuing the saga popped up again.

Bonds' obstruction of justice charge essentially means that Bonds made the grand jury's job investigating the steroids scandal back in 2003 that much more difficult. The government had contended that Bonds was evasive and misleading, which spurred the charge, and the jury has agreed. However, it's a rather odd charge to come back guilty on -- if Bonds wasn't found guilty of lying, how exactly did he obstruct justice?

The vagaries therein are perplexing. Can you really ding Bonds and consider the fact he lied based solely on the obstruction of justice charge? No -- if you assume he was telling the truth, he still could be found guilty of obstruction of justice just by being an overall uncooperative witness and/or the circumstances demanding that he essentially obstruct justice by parroting a skeptical claim that he took steroids, but did not knowingly do so.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately if you're happy the government effectively flushed millions of dollars down the drain and may want a Round 2 -- the jury's indecision on Bonds' perjury counts means we simply can't rule out the possibility Bonds was telling the truth. Hey, everyone knows that Bonds took steroids, that's not the issue. The issue is Bonds' claim he had no idea what he was taking even though his home run output doubled, his hat size exploded and... um, well, there was "shrinkage" in a certain area of his body as his ex-mistress testified.

As long as it's possible Bonds was telling the truth, his Hall of Fame case still stands -- and could even be bolstered by the news out of court. On one hand, you will have voters believing Bonds was a Hall of Famer even without steroids. On the other hand, you can add in those who feel that it's impossible to discern who juiced, so why not treat the era as a whole and vote for whoever belongs, period? (Hey -- who knows who took amphetamines or not in the '70s or drugs in the '80s?)

And on this mysterious third hand humans don't have, should Bonds be penalized his chance at immortality because he didn't know he was taking steroids? That's the can of worms that we've opened here, and you can bet that there will be voters who vote for Bonds based on his effective acquittal of these charges. Even if the federal government decides to hold another trial, between the indecisiveness of the first jury and the bangup job that Bonds' defense lawyers did, nothing can be assumed anymore. And for that reason, you can bet Bonds will linger on the Hall of Fame ballot for a long time, and with enough time, it's completely feasible to see Bonds enter the Hall, especially as voter turnover happens and moves to the younger contingent, a group that appears more willing to consider the case of tainted stars.

Yes, it's bordering on ludicrous to assume that Bonds didn't know what he was ingesting. If trainer Greg Anderson wasn't so adamant about refusing to testify, he would likely provide all the evidence needed to put Bonds behind bars. And yet... since he does not, we can't assume that such evidence exists. Remember words like "innocent until proven guilty" and "preponderance of doubt" that you may have learned way back in junior high? Yeah, well, that still applies. And right now, Bonds continues to stand innocent of the charges that could have slammed the door rather emphatically on the steroid era. (Well, until Roger Clemens' own perjury case comes along in the summer, but that would have just been a sordid epilogue.)

Instead, we're left to sift through the mess. Again.

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Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 8:36 pm
 

What does guilty verdict mean for Barry Bonds?

Hopefully Barry Bonds will disappear from the news now until 2013 when he is on the HOF ballot.  With all the controversy surrounding him, a bit of time away from the limelight may help his early HOF chances.  It's a shame that the greatest player since Mays is unlikely to get in in his first year of eligibility.  The completely vinidictive nature of today's society and the near obsession to tear apart anything above us pretty much guarantees Bonds will be waiting awhile.

Bonds was easily the greatest player of this generation.  For all those that want to claim all of his accomplishments are bogus because of steroids, clearly never saw the guy play in the early 90's with the Pirates.  This guy was a first ballot HOF'er the moment he stepped on a Major League field.  It's really sad that so many people are so negative and unable to appreciate the player that Bonds was and the God given talent he had to play baseball.  Was Bonds a complete dick?  By most accounts yes.  Should that matter when evaluating his career accomplishments?  I don't have any idea why it would, unless you are just looking for an axe to grind.  I don't watch sports to see cheerful interviews or learn proper etiquette.  I watch to see people play the sport at the highest level.  Bonds did at a higher level than any other player I've seen, steroid users or not, and I'm not blinded by all the extracurricular activities to miss that obvious fact.



Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 8:10 pm
 

What does guilty verdict mean for Barry Bonds?

Seriously, who cares?  this guy is so Yesterday!


stadms
Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:36 pm
 

What does guilty verdict mean for Barry Bonds?

Tongue out


stadms
Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:28 pm
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Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:23 pm
 

What does guilty verdict mean for Barry Bonds?

stadms -- Your opinion is most welcome here and I appreciate you taking the time to comment. But just a heads up: the Caps Lock button is to the left of the "A" key. Press it and suddenly your post becomes a lot more readable.


stadms
Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:16 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:13 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Everyone knows what a polorizing figure Barry Bonds is to baseball.  A select group of fans stick by him and do not view his career performance to be tainted by allegations.  These people think he's one of the greatest of all time.  A vocal majority declare Bonds a cheater and would like to disregard his Bonds' lifetime achievements on the diamond.  This has been argued back and forth so much that it's hardly even interesting anymore and the verdict of this trial doesn't do anything to further the discussion.  There are a few points that are still astounding though:

1.  The Federal Government has wasted years of paid US Attorney time.  The cost of paying attorney salaries and the cost of infrastructure and support staff is staggering considering their only goal was to prove that Barry Bonds lied.  They tried to prove Bonds lie by digging up testimony from estranged ex's and disgrutled former friends.  The one guy who could help nail Barry Bonds is the man who has been willing to sit in a jail cell for Barry at every turn.  It's so hard enough to prove what someone knows by a preponderance of the evidence, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt.  The DOJ blew it and the US taxpayers took it in the shorts for this again...

2.  I'm still astounded by how little blame Bud Selig takes for the steroid era of baseball.  Baseball did not have a working PED policy until the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program in 2006.  Selig let the homerun ball rehabilitate the sport after the horrible mid-1990's strike.  The fans came back and the entire ownership of baseball, represented by Commissioner Selig, let the money pour in.  And all anyone wants to do is blame the players.  Shame on all of baseball.  The owners and MLB management.  The players.  And even the fans who bought jerseys for their local roided up freak.  All are to blame.



stadms
Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:06 pm
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Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:03 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Any post that includes the statement, "Bonds may or may not have used steroids", or anything similar is automatically discredited because Bonds has admitted doing roids, he just says he did not know at the time.  I do not know how many times this has to be pointed out to people.  It is not in dispute that Bonds did this.  He admits it!!!

And, Ray Lewis never killed anyone, nor was he charged with that.  He refused to cooperate with authorities when someone was murdered, but the authorities never thought Lewis was the killer, just that he knew who was. 


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