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: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

typical waste of time and taxpayer money by the government. what is the issue here? they asked him if he did steroids and he said "no".   what a shock, someone not admitting to something.  this is a farce and a witchhunt.    if congress has nothing better to do with all that is going on (Libya, deficits), we should have stopped paying them last week and let the government shut down.   as an american citizen, this whole charade is offensive.    who cares about barry bonds?  he is a freaking baseball player. he didn't invent a cure for cancer, he didn't save any children from dying, he hit a little round ball, often thrown by pitchers who were on steroids also.    just let this thing die already.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Unless there is a major change in society and amongst the voters for the Hall of Fame, neither Barry or Roger is getting into the Hall.  The known juicers have not gotten close to the votes needed, and neither will these two cheats.  The excuse of everybody else was doing it does not work for 10 year olds, and it will not work for the Hall.  If one simply pays attention to history, he would know that. 



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

sonneybono,

yes he will get his slap on the wrist.  no tragedy there.  the real tradegy will be if this jerk ever makes the hall of fame. 



Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:04 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Who really cares? Bigger, stronger, faster! That's what people want- period! Thanks for the memories Barry! You were the man!




Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:04 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Were the words "civic duty" ever explained to these beyond selfish jurors before this trial started? Way to waste all of our time and money! Guilty or Not Guilty whatever! Reach a verdict!! 
Everyone with even a quarter of a brain knows that Bonds committed perjury 10 times over. The fact that it ever needed to go to trial to prove what we already know just shows the arrogance involved. And when you can find juries like this- why not? Who knows, maybe Anderson LIKES prison! Maybe a control freak like Bonds actually let his trainer inject him with unknown drugs! Maybe everyone who saw Bonds injected or heard him or his trainer talk about it are lying! Maybe about 20 other unlikely things all happened that would make Bonds honest! MAYBE I'll get abducted by aliens on the way to get gas!!



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Wronskian if Barry Bonds was not "RICH" he NEVER EVER would have been brought to trial on this NONSENSE!!!

And as I said before...the mean black guy Bonds is going to the Hall of Fame.  Too many players many of you "LIKE" were found 100% GUILTY of having done Roids for Bonds not to go in.

( Bonds the Hated vs Roger the Loved hmmmm / and both with such lovely personalites hmmmmm )



Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

So the gov't wastes tax payer dollars to call someone a liar... and now will waste more tax payer dollars on a 2nd trial to again try to prove (with the same arguments) the same thing.. that Bond's is a liar. Our justice system is a joke.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Alright everyone honest question ... If it wasn't against the rules, is it cheating? The answer is no, he may be a lying scumbag but the records hold and he will get in the HOF. Nuff said, and having 3 lawyers in the family he will probably get 5 years probation and the word that he won't get retried, simply so he doesn't appeal.



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Billy You're NUTS!    100% Bonds goes to the HALL.   NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!



Since: Dec 15, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

Ok, what a surprise. Can we stop wasting money and media time on this?


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