A Different Type of Slam

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 16, 2007 | Go to article overview
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A Different Type of Slam


Byline: Thom Loverro, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

At the All-Star Game in San Francisco, Barry Bonds complained he didn't have enough to do.

"We're here in San Francisco, it would have been nice if they asked me to do other things - be with my godfather, go hang out with the people, go do other things - but I haven't been asked to do anything," Bonds said.

The federal government has come up with something for him to do.

He will have a chance to hang out with his people - in fact, a jury of his peers.

Bonds was indicted yesterday on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice in connection with his 2003 grand jury testimony in the BALCO labs steroid investigation.

Anyone who claims to be surprised by this needs to take off his rose-colored glasses when it comes to steroids and sports. The feds were after Bonds from the day he testified before the grand jury nearly four years ago, when he said he didn't know what he was taking when he took "the cream" and "the clear" and that he never injected himself with any steroids.

They didn't believe him then, and they obviously still don't believe him.

The Bonds sycophants will charge he was an unfair target in this, that everyone was taking steroids in baseball at the time and that he didn't do anything that most players weren't doing.

That is not the case, but it is also not the issue at hand. He could have revealed under oath that he knew exactly what he was taking - a far more credible position than he took - and the aftershocks would have been minimal.

Like all of the grand jury testimony, it would have been leaked, and everyone would have learned about Bonds' using steroids. Baseball wasn't nearly as harsh on steroid users as it is now, so if there were any punishment, it would have been minimal at best.

His chase of Hank Aaron's home run record would have been tarnished, but as we saw, it became so even with the lie. Few rational people believed Bonds had hit his 762 home runs without the help of steroids, so the view would have been the same. And if he had admitted to using steroids knowingly, he wouldn't be facing this indictment and possibly the end of his playing career and his freedom.

It is possible now that baseball commissioner Bud Selig will take his hands out of his pockets and give the signal for suspension for Bonds while this case plays out. The players union might be forced to fight it, and that will be a distasteful fight on several levels.

First, the union has been on its heels for the first time in more than 30 years because of the battle over steroids.

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