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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 

Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

almost forgot.  does this mean bonds lying ass roidhead trainer greg anderson can finally get out of jail.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

@ajb3313--"But at the time Barry was accused to have taken them, they weren't outlawed."

Your statement is completely false.  Steroids were against the rules in baseball long before there was testing.  The union would not budge on the testing, but it was still against the rules.  It was not until Congress got involved that the union broke down and allowed the testing.  The union protected the cheaters and now they all have egg on their faces; as they should. 



Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

According to the jury there was not enough evidence to say that he lied under oath.  So I guess your conclusions are based on your exhaustive analysis of the court documents? or more likely from your pathetic obsession with Barry Bonds? Get over it!!!!



Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:26 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

He wasn't found Not Guilty on any of these counts, by the way. It only takes one juror to make it a hung jury. For all we know, 11 jurors had him guilty on all counts.
I was a HUGE Barry Bonds fan. But if you seriously believe he didn't commit perjury by saying he didn't knowingly take steroids, then you have an IQ of 2.



Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Sanchizzle, you are just has stupid as bonds is...You really serious he is the best of all time, do you think those steroids had anything to do with his performance????  Bonds tried lying and got caught, his numbers should be erase from the record books.." I didn't know that the cream had steroids in it"...Good bye barry and you will never get into the hall you jack a$$..



Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:24 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

the numbers say babe ruth is the greatest of all time. he would have made the hall of fame as a pitcher-i believe he has the lowest era in world series history but that is from the top of my head.  the only knock against ruth, and a significant knock it is, is that he didn't get the chance to play against brown people.
the jury failed.  one way or the other it would have been better if they had come up with a decision.



Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Let me just make a couple other points here.
1) Congress has NOTHING to do with any of this. So anyone complaining about Congress spending their time or money on something else, just stop. You are all idiots. Barroid lied to a grand jury, not Congress.
2) Barroid lied while under oath. THAT is his crime. It has nothing to do with steroids. I couldn't care less that the man took steroids if he'd stop treating us all like idiots and just admit it. But lying while under oath is a BIG DEAL. It is a felony, and for good reason. Our entire justice system relies on witnesses telling the truth under oath. The government was absolutely right to pursue this once it became obvious to the world that Barroid had committed perjury. 
3) The fact that Barroid is rich or black or etc. etc. has nothing to do with anything. WHO his trainer was and their connections to BALCO is what got Barroid in front of a grand jury. Period. No connection to BALCO, this never happens.



Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

I wish this would all get go away for the sake of baseball. We all know they were juiced and now MLB has fianally come around and hopefully put a stop to all the cheating...of course with the help of our Government and public out cry...but any way..go Away Mr. Bonds, Go Away Rocket, Go Away Manny...just go away. Baseball is much better without you over paid criminals in the midst. 



Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

The "Head" wins again. no surprise here other than he was convicted of obstruction. I really doubt the goverment decides to waste more tax payer money to pursue a 2nd trial which will likely have the same out come. Now I'm curious to see if the government decides to drop their case on Clemens. This potentially is the same case all over again although we are not privy to the witness trestomony.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

BINGO ! (Only the first paragraph) 

People are missing the point of this trial. It is about LYING to the Feds, with the backdrop being Baroids steroids use. I applaud trying to prosecute Baroid to make an example of him. Unfortunately, the prosecutors didnt have a strong enough case and/or there was a textbook soft California jury. Either way, the money spent here was beyond negligable - nothing to get so worked up about. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com