More than seven years ago, Barry Bonds’ name began to be publicly linked to performance enhancing drugs. During the span of time between then and now, Bonds has gone from a home run hero to a cheat to a victim of unreasonable persecution to most recently, a convicted felon. I think at some point along that journey, the majority of us stopped participating in the evolution of public opinion. We realized that there was no empathy that could be transferred to anyone involved in this scenario and we moved on.
It’s appropriate then that yesterday’s guilty verdict for one count of obstruction of justice and lack of a verdict for three other counts has the least possible meaning to it. If Bonds were acquitted, found guilty or had a jury that couldn’t reach a verdict on all four counts, it would’ve said something. It would have been symbolic and provided a message. But why should we expect anything of meaning to come out of a pursuit that seemed so very meaningless to begin with?
It’s also interesting to learn that Bonds’ defense attorneys intend to ask the judge during a May 20th hearing to dismiss the conviction based on it being inconsistent with the mistrials declared for the other counts. If the judge doesn’t dismiss the conviction, a sentencing date will be set then. Bonds could be sent to prison for two years, but according to several legal experts, it’s unlikely he’d receive anything stiffer than house arrest.
Still, that won’t stop people from using the verdict or lack thereof to further promote their own pre-existing beliefs and interests.
From Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig:
This trial is a stark illustration of how far this sport has come. In contrast to allegations about the conduct of former players and the environment of past years, 2011 marks the eighth season of drug testing in the Major Leagues and our 11th season in the Minors. With increased testing, cutting-edge research, proactive security efforts, and extensive education and awareness programs, we have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to keeping illegal substances out of the game.
We have devoted all of our efforts to achieving the toughest, most comprehensive drug testing program in professional sports, and the generation of young players that has entered our game in recent years has never known anything but the rigorous protocols that have been in place for years. Our game has never been more popular than it is right now, and we must remain vigilant in order to meet all the challenges of the future. Performance-enhancing drugs have no place in Baseball.
Ra ra ra.
From BALCO founder Victor Conte:
This verdict absolutely makes no sense to me. Of all of these counts, the one that makes the least sense to me is the obstruction charge. Tell me how there was obstruction of justice. This is all about the selected persecution of Barry Bonds. This is not fair. I was the heavy in this. I accepted full responsibility and the consequences and went to prison. How is that obstruction? Doesn’t make sense. The whole idea of committing perjury, and lying to the grand jury makes no sense. In my opinion, the overall majority of the athletes who testified in the BALCO case committed perjury. There were the things that the majority of the athletes said that simply were not true.
From MLB Network’s Bob Costas:
The authentic single season season home run champion is Roger Maris. The authentic career home run king is Hank Aaron. You would have to think the world is flat to believe anything other than that.
Score one for pill popping speed freaks!
And The Rest:
Buster Olney will vote for Mark McGwire’s entry into baseball’s Hall of Fame, but not Manny Ramirez’s.
So, then who will stand up for Manny Ramirez?
I’m a big fan of cheap booze, but in light of recent incidents at Los Angeles Dodgers games, canceling half price beer night is probably a good call.
I’m just going to throw this out there, but maybe the Rangers should consider using their best relief pitcher in situations other than a save opportunity.
Texas may not win close games, but at least they’re dipping into the international market by pursuing Cuban defector Leonys Martin.
And speaking of Cuban defectors, should the Reds be concerned over Aroldis Chapman’s sudden loss of velocity?
Shocking development: Frustration is finding its way into the Mets clubhouse.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the organist for the Chicago White Sox? Me neither, but this article will answer all of your unasked questions.
Finally, the only way for Ryan Madson to stay in Philadelphia is to divorce his wife and come out against her publicly.