Legal problems and medical problems seem to be prevalent in the world of sports recently. But when things are going bad for others I like to say to myself, “Hey, I’m fine.”
Barry Bonds And The Feds. Despite all of the steroids stuff, I have always said that Bonds’ real troubles would come from the federal government. Bonds has always been a jerk to the fans, the press, and even his father. Bonds doesn’t care what people think of him. He thought he’d never face any real problems as a result of using steroids. However, Bonds’ steroid use didn’t occur in a vacuum, it occurred in the real world where his suppliers got busted and their scam was unveiled to the public during the Balco Labs investigation.
Now the word is out that the feds are pursuing Bonds for perjury as a result of his Balco grand jury testimony. If Bonds is going to hang his hat on the “I didn’t know what I was taking, therefore I couldn’t have committed perjury” defense, he’s going to have a whole lot of trouble. And here’s the main reason.
If Bonds’ claim is that he was given steroids — over a substantial period of time — without his knowledge, why hasn’t he pressed charges against the responsible parties? If Bonds was dosed with a variety of drugs without giving the okay, why didn’t he alert the authorities?
The statements coming from Bonds’ lawyer are pretty limp, which is a bad sign for Barry. Here’s what lawyer Michael Raines said. “The trap is perjury. You offer immunity and get him in there and then you ask (him) questions and you get (him) on lying to federal officers. That’s the trap.”
Now I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that if you don’t lie, there’s no trap. If Bonds is paying for this kind of legal advice perhaps he can get a refund, because this is the most embarrassing claim that I have ever heard.
Here’s some advice for Bonds’ lawyer. If you want to save Bonds’ butt, file a suit against Victor Conte and Greg Anderson and claim that these guys drugged Bonds without his knowledge. Bonds MUST claim that Balco drugged him and that he didn’t know anything about it, and as a result of the actions of Conte and Anderson, Bonds’ career has been ruined. This is the only way that Bonds can make the case that he didn’t commit perjury.
The problem with this is that Conte and Anderson will have the chance to refute these allegations in court. And Bonds will have to go under oath — again — which is something that his legal team obviously wants to avoid.
My bet is that once the feds indict Bonds he will turn rat and do whatever he might be able to do in order to stay out of jail. No one will be safe, not Sheffield or anyone else that Bonds may have info about. He’ll rat out Anderson and Conte, and in turn Anderson and Conte will dish all on Bonds. It will get nice and ugly.
The only reason that Anderson and Conte have continued to protect Bonds is that he’s the only athlete left from the Balco stable of cheaters who is still earning a living. Bonds is still worth something to those two. However, once Bonds is done and once he turns on his cohorts, the Balco boys will have no reason to keep quiet.
Bonds’ troubles with the government may not end with this perjury issue, as the I.R.S. has been alleged to be interested in what Barry has been doing with the income he earned — and may not have reported — from memorabilia sales.
The Bonds saga is the classic Faustian “Pact with the Devil,” and although it’s questionable if Bonds ever had a soul, there’s no doubt that he will pay for his transgressions with his career and his reputation as one of the best ballplayers of all time.