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Clarification on Bonds

Mike SteffanosFriday, November 16, 2007
By Mike Steffanos


I received some great comments and e-mails on yesterday's post about Bonds' prosecution. Since I only dashed it off quickly before I knocked off for the evening, I'd like to take a moment to clarify my thoughts.

In no way am I defending the use of steroids or lying to a federal grand jury. I do feel that Bonds, due to his arrogant personality and obvious notoriety, has probably received too much of the blame for what was (and still may be) widespread use of performance enhancers in baseball.

I made this point in a comment to yesterday's post that I'd like to share here, since most readers don't read comments for older posts:

...I agree that Bonds' arrogance is responsible for his personal dilemma with this indictment. I find it mind-boggling to conceive that he felt he could get away with lying to a Fed grand jury when there were so many out there already digging up dirt on him. Maybe based on that arrogance alone he deserves this.

Along with [former President Bill] Clinton's prosecution, however, I am of a mind that the person or persons with the personal vendetta should also have to finance the investigation and prosecution rather than the American tax payer. They could have done some sort of telethon and I'm sure people would have contributed millions to nail the unpopular Bonds. Personally, I would contribute my money if someone would indict Bud Selig for perjury for continually denying that MLB knew steroid use was rampant. He's at least as big a jerk as Baroid. Unfortunately, his lies weren't made under oath.

Besides spending tons of our tax dollars on investigating a sport, the prosecutors in my mind went a little over the top in sticking it to Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer. After pleading guilty and doing time for steroid distribution for distributing steroids and money laundering, Anderson spent more time in jail for refusing to testify against Bonds than anyone who was convicted of making and/or selling these drugs was sentenced to. Understandably the prosecutor wanted his testimony against Bonds very badly, but when it became clear that Anderson wouldn't testify, the feds became vindictive.

I'm sure many would argue that anything done or all of the money spent in the process of nailing Bonds -- if indeed he is ultimately nailed -- is worth it, both for nailing a high-profile cheater and also for making an example of him. To me, he's just a scapegoat for a much bigger problem. Maybe I am in the minority in this opinion, but I would rather focus time and energy on figuring out how to get all of this elaborate cheating out of the game as completely as possible, and for the government to spend our tax dollars in areas like energy and health that will benefit as many Americans as possible.

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Comments (4)

I'm totally in agreement with you on this one. In fact, I had my blog post most of the way written when I decided to poke around and see what others were saying. I ended up including a quote from yours. It does surprise me how many people are just thrilled to bring someone famous down at ANY cost. Why?

Although I agree that the government can spend our tax dollars more efficiently, it is foolhardy to believe that any monies that were not spent on the Balco investigation would have gone to any other well intentioned purpose. The money spent was part of the Justice Dept's budget and it is up to the leader of that dept to specify which cases to follow.
I myself do not beieve that there was any vendetta against Mr. Bonds other than the fact the Feds usually doesn't like folks that lie to Federal Investigators, or a Grand Jury - ask Martha Stewart.
The guilty plea of Marion Jones should point up that Mr. Bonds was not the only person being investigated here. If he had just told the truth in his original testimony he would gotten past this, although there would have been some initial pain. I believe folks would have forgiven him by now.
The biggest news to me was not the indictment, but the failed steroid test that he was confronted with. I thought I heard him say that he had never failed a test. If nothing else, we now have conclusive truth that he has taken steroids, whether it can be proven that he knowingly did so is another issue.

Bonds has had this chip on his shoulder it seems like forever. Well, he used this attitude toward the feds and got caught. He's gonna hire the most expensive lawyers out there. I don't see him doing much jail time for the perjury.

Part of being a baseball player is selling the sport. There's a whole marketing edge that the players really I think are part of contributing to. It's their livelihood, their sport, and really part of the job to sell it. By being an arrogant jerk, Bonds has ticked off owners, players, media and the fans. As they say, you reap what you sow.

It may be for the wrong reasons, but he has sealed his fate. No more games played. No trip to Cooperstown. Possibly a book deal down the line, but that's it.

Bobby you gave out enough tough love, now its time for you to take some yourself.

Scam-Hunter - As a culture we love building celebs up and then tearing them down. I guess it also doesn't hurt when the celeb has made himself pretty unlikeable over the years.
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Gregory - I'm not making the point where the money would go if they didn't go over the top with this investigation. I just think it reflects very poorly on how the government prioritizes where and what they spend.
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Gary - I'm definitely with you that he brought most of this on himself. His arrogance is mind-boggling. I can't imagine what he would feel about himself if he does do jail time.

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