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Thursday, November 15, 2007
Bonds Indicted . . .

on perjury and obstruction of justice. ESPN reports here; a Bay-area TV station reports here.

Update: Thursday, 6:00 p.m. C.S.T.: The indictment is here.

Update # 2: Friday, 7:30 a.m. C.S.T.:

Mike Dorf on why
any conviction, standing alone without reference to the subject of the conviction (that Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs) should not be enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame or to warrant stripping him of the career home run record.


Well I am not that surprised that they handed down this indictment. However, I am surprised at the timing of this. I would think that if the government had a credible case against Bonds they would have indicted him at least 2 years ago. This is a culmination of 4 years of investigation and discovery work on the part of the government and I'm not sure how strong their case is. At the same time, new evidence has most likely recently surfaced that pushed this case over the edge. Usually, the government does not pursue charges unless they have fairly strong and damning evidence against the defendant. See the Michael Vick case as an example of this. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I do not believe Bonds will plead out like Vick did because he has vehemently maintained all along that he is absolutely innocent. This will likely go all the way to trial and will undoubtedly and unfortunately consume the sports media for at least the next year if not more. Nothing good will come of this for baseball which has just recently been taking steps to improve its image and increase its draw among fans.

Blogger John Biggs -- 11/15/2007 6:55 PM  

First, it will be interesting to see how Bud Selig handles this situation. Whether Bonds is ultimately innocent or guilty Selig has a tremendous job in front of him. He will most likely be in or near the eye of the latest Storm Bonds for the duration.

Second, Greg Anderson's release today throws a potential major kink into this already captivating story. Did he finally cooperate after a year in jail? It would not be surprising to see that he finally decided to provide information relating to Bonds.

Anonymous Chuck Tveite -- 11/15/2007 8:34 PM  

I think Greg Anderson's release has to be the major issue behind the fed's case here. What new evidence could have been obtained to rebut Bonds's testimony? It would have to be something like a person (Anderson) being able to provide proof that Bonds took the steroid/cream knowingly. Roger Cossak did a great job today of really laying out what has gone on and what to possibly expect to happen over the next month.

Anonymous Chris Smith -- 11/15/2007 10:35 PM  

This is a breaking story, but not very surprising. To me, its very similar to the O.J. situation. The public has wanted to nail O.J. ever since he was acquitted in 1995. O.J. slipped up and had a run in with police in Las Vegas, and the D.A. is threw every possible charge imaginable at him (I'm not advocating that O.J is innocent, but rather is on the end of unfavorable public sentiment). O.J. is being crucified for his past actions-- society believes that he "did it" and now wants to make sure that he pays. The public has been after Bonds ever since his purported steroid use was first raised. The desire to nail Bonds for steroid use only heightened as he drew closer to breaking the home run record. Public sentiment, to some extent, is in support of Bonds “going down.” This is evinced by the public's recent election for Bond's 756th home run ball going to Cooperstown branded with an asterisk. In my opinion, I fear that Bond's will be faced with a harsher sentence/plea deal for the simple fact that he is Barry Bonds and the public to an extent desires to see his dynasty and career tarnished.

I also find it highly interesting and coincidental that Greg Anderson just happened to be released on the very same day as Bond's indictment. It could be one of two things: either Anderson sang like a bird or the government no longer needs Anderson and he was released. If the second is true and Anderson didn't cooperate, I wonder if the Mitchell Report had anything to do with the case against Bonds. No indication, as far as I know, has been made to implicate Bonds in the report. On the flip side though, the report has been touted as containing some high profile information. Only time will tell and it will be interesting to see how this case precedes.

Anonymous Matthew Courtner -- 11/16/2007 1:47 AM  

I would like to congratulate the federal government for wasting four years and millions of my tax dollars to do ... nothing.

This is a witch hunt -- nothing more, nothing less. All they've done, if indeed the objective is to break up a steroid distribution ring -- is go after a user (admittedly, a high-profile one). What is the purpose? To spend millions more to put Bonds in jail for a few months (he's never been in trouble before, to my knowledge, so all these hysterical media stories about how he could get 30 years in jails are crap -- nothing more). Proving the charges will take months, if not years, and gobs more money. Is this really the government's best use of our tax dollars?

I'm a Giants fan (I root for the laundry, as they say in football). In watching Bonds over the years, I've found him bright and arrogant -- a black man whose biggest crime is not playing nice with the media.

Baseball's powers that be have been after Bonds for years. They're probably delighted that he's been indicted -- it means no one is likely to sign him. But if I were Bud Selig, I'd be praying that he takes a plea (unlikely), because if this ever gets to trial, baseball's conscious efforts to ignore its problems with PEDs is going to be exposed for everyone to see.

Bud, you've wanted Bonds out of your way for years. But always be careful what you ask for -- you might get it.

Anonymous DonK -- 11/16/2007 3:34 AM  

Don, I agree with you that this may be bad for baseball, but to call this a witch-hunt for a black man is a little misleading and selling this case short in my opinion. The government is not charging Bonds with steroid use because that would be much more difficult to convict him on and doesn't carry a substantial penalty. They are bringing the perjury and obstruction of justice charges because those are much more serious and carry a substantial penalty. Let's remember here that if Bonds pleads guilty or is convicted that he committed serious crimes. Lying under oath in a deposition or trial proceeding is a very serious matter, especially if it's in federal court. Both of those crimes strike at the heart of our legal system and stand for everything that the legal system is supposedly against. I'm not convicting him, I'm just saying that these are very serious crimes and not run-of-the-mill misdemeanors like a DUI or drug possession charge. If you or I committed perjury and/or obstruction of justice, we would also be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Bonds is simply a huge media story because he's a star in baseball, the homerun king (rightfully or not), and a high-profile athlete. Is there recism involved? Well, maybe depending on your perspective. But these are very serious charges and not something that the government just grabbed out of thin air.

Blogger John Biggs -- 11/16/2007 2:04 PM  

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