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Coming Soon to a Prison Ball Club Near You

Mike SteffanosThursday, November 15, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Looks like Barry Bonds was indicted today on 4 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. Considering that the Feds are famous for not making high profile indictments unless they're 99.9% sure of a conviction, things are looking bad for MLB's home run king*.

The Feds have been pursuing Bonds for over 4 years. While it's hard to feel all that sorry for an arrogant multi-millionaire athlete like Barry, I'm curious if any of my readers join me in wondering if there wasn't a better use for all of the federal tax dollars spent on building a case against a baseball player.

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Comments (12)

I am certain that this is a waste of the taxpayers money. I am definitely not a Bonds fan but I would venture to say that at least 60% of his post Mcgwire Sosa era home runs were hit off of pitchers using the same performance enhancement drugs.Let's call a mulligan on the whole deal and and start fresh. It's one of the many smoke and mirror jobs perpetrated by the goverment to get people to look "over here" when kids are dying in Iraq and Insurance companies are filling their pockets with money. They ignore murder and robbery while focusing on cheating, GIVE ME A BREAK

FINALLY !! What took them so long? Now we need Bud to step up and take away the record.

Yanks sign ARod and Mets sign Torrealba. The more things change.....

Wow, Jim, that is some post. I simultaneously find myself in agreement with you and wanting to dismiss your post as childish prattle. The steriod scandal is supposed to take my mind off the war in Iraq? I don't think I could have managed that alone.

Anyways....my thought is that the steriod business is just one more example of standards in society changing, and those who get caught playing by the old, informal rules being vilified. It's pretty much what happened to Richard Nixon; he was dirty, but not notably moreso than the two fellows who went before him. But those rules no longer applied, and I have no doubt that is a good thing in the long run, for society to declare error on occasion. In the short run, Nixon lost a game of musical chairs; he was still standing when the music stopped. Of course Nixon's gang compounded bad behavior with stupidity; he didn't NEED the steriods to hit that particular home run, if you dig.

I particularly dislike the furor over Bonds, since the people responsible when the worst of the steriod abuse took place are the selfsame people cloaking themselves in righteousness and lowering the boom, particularly Bud Selig. That doesn't exactly jibe with my idea of justice. Hopefully some good will come of it.

Have you ever noticed how the Worst Imaginable Criminal sometimes becomes someone else over time? When I was born, the Worst was probably (stil) those Communists; then it was those drug trafficers. Back then people were still making jokes about a virgin down South being a twelve year old who could outrun her uncle; but today, if my television is telling me the truth, the latest Worst Crime, pedofilia, ain't funny any more; don't you get caught making a joke about it.

Not to say that's a bad thing, at all; only, don't write these deathless pronouncements in ink, 'cause you'll probably live to see the arrow point elsewhere.

I haven't hidden my opinions about B-Roid himself or about his "record"*, but even if I thought he walked on water (which I probably would if he'd been a Met all these years), I'd still be saying "throw the book at him" for this.

Not for steroid use. That's not the charge, and indeed it couldn't have been the charge, since he testified under complete immunity. He could have walked into that room with his ass still attached to the bull's, um, pen and they couldn't have touched him.

Instead, for the sake of his money, and his reputation, and his records*, he committed the only crime he could ever have been charged with as a result of being asked questions by that grand jury: he lied about it.

Since Ken Starr established the perjury threshold at $75 million (what he tossed after trying to nail Bill Clinton on such charges), I won't lose sleep at night if a California District Court runs up some bills well below that amount.

I'll keep my politics out of this, since my feelings are that if you want to do politics in a blog it should be an overtly political blog. I will say that, although I am NOT a fan of the current administration, I'm more of the mind that this prosecution is representative of a personal vendetta by a federal prosecutor than a governmental conspiracy. That doesn't make it any less of a waste of taxpayer money.

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 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.

I dislike discussing politics in a baseball discussion as well, but I do want to mention something pertaining to Ray's comment above.

I am perfectly willing to believe that Bonds lied to a grand jury. As I read earlier only today, Fred Thompson voted against impeachment of Bill Clinton on the perjury rap, not because he doubted that perjury did occur, but that he felt that the resultant punishment, i.e., removing Clinton from office, was not warrented by a lie about a sexual relationship. I can imagine a thoughtful person arriving at a similar conclusion in the matter of Barry Bonds today.

In that decision Fred Thompson was taking the responsibility, not only of translating the law, but in effect of being de facto judge of the crime in question; a big enough burden, but then Thompson was a Senator. He voted his judgement and was willing to live with the results, which one can admire whether or not one agrees with the decision. So with Bonds; did he really warrant a four year investigation, and now jail time? Your call.

Maybe the question of where the standards exits today depends on who one asks.

If your going to make Barry the infamous steroid user then you include everyone in his era who has the slightest bit of suspicion. Get Brady Anderson and his 50, get Luis Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, dig up and dna test Ken Camminiti, get Raif Palmiero, Jose & Ozzie Canseco, and a host of others whose numbers jump out at you. I'm so sick of this, these were grown men they knew what they were doing, and baseball stood by and let it happen because the turnstiles and merchandise were moving. Now they want to play hollier than thou and use Bonds as a sacrifice. Now by no means am I excusing Bonds for lying whatsoever, but until you prove to me that steroids makes you hit or pitch(Mota excluded)a ball better I aint buying it. If you want to say recovery time is faster, sure, gives you some added strength sure, but it does not give you talent. Look at Ozzie Canseco he was as huge as his brother and could not hit a lick of ML pitching. There were some other notable players who got bigger but numbers hardly increased. I'm not justifying the use of any drug, nor am I going to be tricked into thinking this one guy is the root of the steroid scandal and that Balco is the only "House on this Haunted Hill". Baseball, Selig, Owners, teams, trainers, doctors, and everyone else should be just as accountable as Mr. Bonds. They say take away his records or put *'s by them. Then put *'s by the record revenue and attendance and give the fans back their money. I love baseball, and professional baseball is just what it is, a business. So if you going to own a business, your going to do all you can to make your business successful and your going to do everything you can to bring in the most profits. Baseball knew performance enhancing drugs were prevelent, but as long as that profit margin was expanding they did not care one bit. Now they want to play self-righteous.......please! Then Baby Bush issues a statment of how he is disappointed and that it is a sad day for baseball. The only sad thing is that it may show just how extensive this thing really was, but I don't care, because I'll be watching the Mets & MLB in 2008 and beyond, steroids or not.

I know I am not the only one that thinks steroids saved MLB.Mac and Sosa brought fans back to this game. Unless your'e a baseball purist 10-8 games are much more entertaining than 2-1 games and baseball purists will never give the owners the numbers they want. They looked the other way and 99% of us would have done the same thing if in the owners position.Bonds arrogance has made him the scapegoat and maybe desevedly so. As far as proving the correlation between steroids an homeruns, I believe there is no doubt that "flax seed oil" makes you not only stronger, bigger, quicker, but more confidant. The evidence out there is purely anectodal but many stories exist. It would be tough to do a controlled study on this not just from an ethical standpoint but the fact that if you received the real thing you would know and if you receieved the placebo you would know that too.They are that effective and I believe when they are tweaked the secret to "The Fountain of Youth" will be found in them. If you don't believe me just ask Stallone and numerous others that seem to defy the aging process.The reason they should be banned is because you will see more and more youth emulating their "heroes"and feeling that they have no choice but to do it if they want to make it to the "show".
As far as my conspiracy theory I think perhaps I worded it too strongly but it angers me that the goverment micro manges the insignificant things and fails miserably at the important ones. I think if Bonds hired a couple of Lobbyists he could have stopped the investigation.I truly believe that, but maybe I've watched too many Micheal Moore movies.

JIM again not anonymous


As far as my conspiracy theory I think perhaps I worded it too strongly but it angers me that the goverment micro manges the insignificant things and fails miserably at the important ones.>

A bit of a generalization, but I agree. Why the government has any place in baseball is a question for me.

LJ - Good points, and I guess it's that self-righteous attitude, particularly by Selig, that irritates me the most.
Jim - I'm with you on your frustration with the government, that's for sure. I agree with you also that steroid use (and the resultant home run records chase) save baseball after that disastrous strike.

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