Barry Bonds’ career, all but over after indictment…? …sports…baseball…

Barry Bonds is effectively suspended. And Bud Selig didn’t have to do a thing.

No team will sign Bonds as a free agent now that he has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice by the federal government.

If any club was even considering Bonds it will quickly abandon the idea, knowing his availability would be in question, his presence a crippling distraction and marketing nightmare.

It’s over, folks. Bonds’ playing career, and maybe any chance for him to reclaim his name.

Bonds, 43, could play again if he is found not guilty, but by then who knows what kind of condition he might be in? And who knows if any team would still want him?

For baseball, the only negative is that the indictment didn’t come last off season, before Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all time home run record. Bonds was also a free agent then, and the Giants resigned him for one more season, a business decision they surely would not have made under the present circumstances.

Finally, Bonds is in a corner.

If he is found guilty, he can forget about the Hall of Fame, which instructs voters to consider character, integrity and sportsmanship, subjective standards that surely would be influenced by jail time.

For years Bonds’ supporters defended him, with some justification, by saying that he committed no crime and never tested positive for steroids.

Both premises are about to be challenged. The indictment alleges that Bonds tested positive for steroids in November of 2000, three years before Major League Baseball began its testing program. The test might have come from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). Bonds was a BALCO client.

To convict Bonds, the government must demonstrate that he lied to a grand jury investigating BALCO when he said he never knowingly used performance enhancing drugs. The author of Game of Shadows made that argument rather convincingly, though not in a court of law.

Which isn’t to say that Bonds will be found guilty.

Perjury is difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and Bonds’ lawyers will fight the government at every turn. The only way Bonds can become a sympathetic figure is if it appears he is being persecuted. Bonds’ lead attorney, Michael Rains, already is playing that angle.

Judging from Rains’ past comments and post indictment news conference, his strategy could turn into as much of an attack on the prosecutors’ conduct as their case. Rains kicked off the battle for public opinion Thursday night by criticizing prosecutors for releasing the indictment to the media before informing Bonds and his defense team.

“Now that their biased allegations must finally be presented openly in a court of law, they won’t be able to hide their unethical misconduct from the public any longer,” Rains said in a prepared statement. “You won’t read about those facts in this indictment, but now the public will get the whole truth, not just selectively leaked fabrications from anonymous sources.”

Perhaps, but the stakes are high for the government in any high-profile case. After taking nearly four years to prepare an indictment, the prosecutors would look incredibly foolish if they stumbled at trial. They might not get a conviction, but it’s doubtful they will present a slipshod case.

One way or another, Bonds is fighting a losing battle. Even if he escapes relatively unscathed from a legal perspective, his standing with the public is so low that the majority of fans are unlikely to forgive him. Not that he seems to care.

No, he won’t recover like Martha Stewart, who agreed to a five month prison term when confronted with similar charges. Stewart went to jail and 2½ years later, she is again a popular homemaking expert, having revived her business empire seemingly overnight.

Bonds, thanks to his surly personality, has built no such empire, even though he was the Michael Jordan of his sport. Fans wonder if a conviction would result in Selig placing an asterisk next to his records, but there would be no need. Bonds is a walking asterisk, a constant reminder of an unseemly era.

Thank you Ken Rosenthal,
There you have it sports fans…

But I think the question should be asked…is this a victimless crime…Is this something that should put him out of the Hall of Fame???

Is he not still an superb athlete? And a dual athlete???

OK, sports fans, this is time to be heard…what is your opinion?

Is he not still an superb athlete? And a dual athlete??

OK, sports fans, this is time to be heard…what is your opinion?

Most of you know my stance on Steroids.

But, I haven’t made my mind up about Barry Bond.

My Step~Dad says he is a cheater and a drug taker.

Are the steroids the smoking gun or is it society, who demands that athletes be better than all of the rest?

The above post is not necessary my opinion. I am still standing up for the 7TH inning stretch, on this one.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~