The real losers in the Barry Bonds trial are you and me and all the U.S. taxpayers who have had to pay for the $6 million attempt by the feds in this travesty.
Aren’t you glad that crime is at such a low level in the country that federal law enforcement officers can afford to spend so much time and money on this?
To this point, all they’ve achieved is to get a guilty plea for Bonds on obstruction of justice in the BALCO case, which wasn’t even part of the original prosecution.
Bonds’ attorneys are trying to get the judge to overturn that conviction, since it is inconsistent with the rest of the verdict. One might also ask, “What obstruction?” Federal prosecutors nailed BALCO and its founder, Stan Conte, who served four months in a minimum security prison, and other sports clients.
Nonetheless, just the fact that Bonds was convicted on one count will please his enemies in the sports media. One of them exulted on his blog on Wednesday that now Bonds will always be known as a convicted felon. Yeah, just like Martha Stewart. What a blight that’s been on her life.
Another writer I was talking to before the Sunday game at AT&T Park referred to Bonds several times as a “monster.”
Monster? I think a monster is Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson. Or Hitler or Stalin, who caused the killings of millions of people.
What has Bonds done to merit that description? He was uncooperative with the media.
Both of the men I quoted are friends, but I still disagree with their attitude.
My beliefs run counter to probably the majority of sports media. Another example: A woman columnist who absolutely hates Bonds and all steroids users, wrote a column last week which was headlined “Prosecutor Hits a Home Run on Last Day.”
Home run? More like a bunt single.
That attitude will keep Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez and anybody else who is acknowledged to have taken steroids out of the Baseball Hall of Fame. So, the best hitters, the best pitcher and who knows who else will be kept out by moralizing writers, which is a good reason for taking the vote away from them.
In the dream world occupied by these writers (and broadcasters such as Bob Costas, as well), athletes should be purer than the driven snow, never taking any kind of kind of performance-enhancing drugs — because that’s cheating.
Sorry, but cheating has always been a way of life in baseball. One example among many: Though the spitter was outlawed, because of the beaning death of Ray Chapman, pitchers continued to use it. Gaylord Perry, who was about to wash out of Major League Baseball, rode the spitter into the Hall of Fame and wrote a book about it.
Baseball’s history gets overlooked by the media moralists, and that set the stage for this tawdry trial, which featured testimony from a spurned mistress and a fired business manager, not to mention a federal investigator talking about pawing through garbage for a year to get evidence.
Bonds isn’t a good person? He’s got a lot of company.
Glenn Dickey has been covering Bay Area sports since 1963 and also writes on www.GlennDickey.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.