Barry Bonds can thank his lucky flaxseed oil that his trial has
fallen in a forest of events that have demanded our attention.
The disaster in Japan, the war in Libya, and the brilliance of the
NCAA tournament have drowned out the fireworks of a case that
has all the elements of a Michael Connelly best-selling novel: sex,
money, lies, infidelity, drugs, and a controversial mega-star.
If it was January, satellite trucks and bleached-blonde reporters
with blinding white teeth, would be lining the streets of San
Francisco doing stand-ups for the News at 11. If this were
February, the content of this trial, not suitable for most families,
would be plastered all over ESPN and its family of networks.
There has been testimony about a growing head, shrinking
parts, sexual dysfunction, secret recordings, and 'roid rage.
Kristen Bell, the long-time mistress of Bonds said he threatened
to "cut her head off and throw me in a ditch." There's more.
Bell testified Bonds told her he'd "cut out the implants in her breasts
because he paid for them." As for the house Bonds helped her
pay for, Bell said the home run king promised to "burn it down."
Those in the media who covered Bonds know this type of vitriol
isn't much different from the kind they endured over the years.
Always surly and rarely happy, Bonds hated to be asked questions
and despised the people asking them, even more. Steroids or steroids,
Bonds couldn't come within a Bubba Watston drive of ever winning
baseball's good guy award.
The only awards Bonds cared about had to do with the letters, MVP
and HR. He was named most valuable player three times and belted
more than 400 round-trippers before the alleged steroid use. Bonds
was a lead-pipe lock to make the hall of fame. But that was prior to
this incredibly gifted athlete turning into the incredible hulk, almost
All one has to do is look at size of his head and the back of his
baseball card to know something was going on, and into his body.
Once listed at 175lbs, Bonds' body morphed from one like Lee Lacy,
to that of Lee Haney, a body-building legend.
He hit 317 of his 762 HR's after the age of 35. He also won four
consecutive MVP awards.The whispers became shouts and Bonds
joined McGwire and Sosa as the poster boys of the steroid era.
Bonds, did in fact use "the clear" and "the cream", a pair of undetectable
steroids, although he stated that he took them "unknowingly".
That's what this trial is about, not the steroids, but the lying. In 2003,
during the BALCO case, Bonds stated, under oath, that he took
those designer steroids, but he thought they were something else.
His trainer, Greg Anderson, said that "something else" was flaxseed oil
and arthritic cream.
The feds said Bonds lied. He knew exactly what he
was taking and lied to the grand jury about it. So after eight years
and millions of dollars, Bond is on trial for perjury. Not for steriods,
but lying. Eight years. Eight years of chasing the truth, not the needles.
At times, the government has appeared to be obsessed with bringing down
Bonds over his inability to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth. Yes, lying under oath is serious business, but the ,
government's case is hardly air-tight, and to some, it's been nothing
more than a witch hunt.
Has the government wasted their time and the tax payers money? To many,
it appears that way. Bonds has already been tried and convicted of
steroid use and lying in the court of public opinion. Did we need a
"smoking syringe" or other scientific evidence to confirm that Bonds
was on the juice? Flaxseed oil and arthritic cream? Lie, and another
Bonds has been baseball's villain for quite some time. He's a walking
asterisk, who cheated his way to breaking the most hallowed records
in the game. Like OJ, Bonds appears to have gotten away with
something the first time around. And like OJ, the legal system might
just get the home run king with its second chance, securing a conviction
and sending him off to jail.
But with the state of world, and our attention clearly focused
on other things, will anybody even care?