“But the last man standing is all we are, as I say these words from afar: run away and I’ll follow you to the darkest place on earth.”
After four years, plenty of hearings, and rampant speculation, the federal government has gotten enough of a case to indict Barry Bonds on perjury and obstruction of justice, accusing him of lying about knowingly taking steroids. If you have not read the indictment, go ahead and do so, it’s a quick read.
A disclaimer: I will be fine with Bonds being a cheater if the government convicts him and brings reliable drug test results as proof. Part of the indictment alleges that investigators found positive drug tests from Bonds, to the extent that trainer Greg Anderson was not needed as far as testimony goes to indict the former Giants slugger. The indictment’s accusations, if proven, would establish what the majority already believes.
My objections have mostly had to do with press narratives in perception of the slugger absent evidence in a court of law. Now, there are accusations to justify some of them, but the hyperbole over the matter is still disgusting, as if Bonds was the First And Only abuser since he is the biggest fish in the pond.
Bonds is awaiting a trial and conviction for lying to a grand jury. Rafael Palmeiro lied to Congress, under oath, and lives the life of a shamed, yet free, man. Mark McGwire is probably still telling all his friends and family he won’t talk about the past. All of the latest athletes accused of HGH (Byrd, Ankiel, Glaus, Schoeneweis) through the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center will probably be forgotten about after a suspension from MLB, if that. And yet Bonds is the only one being prosecuted (so far) related to the illegal use and prosecution of performance enhancing drugs.
What I particularly enjoy is the framing of the “dark cloud over baseball”, when the sport has had nothing short of thunderstorms over it for the majority of its existence, and is trying to pass all its steroid issues onto Bonds one final time. I just have to laugh at the statement issued by the office of a former owner:
“The president is very disappointed to hear this,” Bush spokesman Tony Fratto said. “As this case is now in the criminal justice system, we will refrain from any further specific comments about it. But clearly this is a sad day for baseball.”
The owners had no problem with making money off the backs of roided-up sluggers, now watch the laments about the era that continue to emerge from management, crying in public while hiding the money bags behind their backs. Why are Stephen A. Smith and Charles Barkley (whom I just saw talking about this via phone with Bob Ley) the only ones making a whole lot of sense on this?
Photo: David Toerge/San Francisco Sentinel