Barry Bonds has been out of sight, out of mind for four years now, but the federal government is out to get their man. Photo by Jeff Lewis
Fans do not view Bonds as the home run king because of his steroid use, but none of them really care to see millions of dollars of tax payers money spent on convicting him. Photo by Jeff Lewis
Even though the public has little interest in the case, prosecutors press on.
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Home run king Barry Bonds will finally have his day in court, nearly a decade after an investigation into steroid use in baseball began.
At this point does anybody really care? Black America certainly does not. Not even white America is out to get Bonds. Most people question why millions of dollars of tax payers money has been spent to prosecute a man who was black balled from Major League Baseball four years ago.
Did Bonds use steroids? Ah… yeah. Just like a decent amount of baseball players at that time. Depending on whom you believe, the percentage of baseball players using steroids could have been small, or if you believe former slugger Jose Canseco, who seems to have been right about all of his claims, about 70 percent of the big leagues were on the juice.
What seemed to be a glorious period in baseball turned out to be one of the darkest, with questions hanging above the heads of many of the top stars during that time.
It is pretty much known that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s magical summer of 1998 was fueled by the illegal drugs. Roger Clemens was known as the “Rocket,” but when his arm fizzed out, steroids gave it new life. He still denies that he ever used steroids, but nobody believes that.
The steroid era is a time that baseball and their fans have already moved on from, but the federal government just won’t let it go. It is like they are out to get their man, even though there is no need to get their man.
In 2003, Bonds testified in front of a grand jury that he unknowingly used “the cream” and “the clear.” Federal agents do not believe him, so in 2007 Bonds was indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.
Four years later, Bonds, who, to the public, has been out of sight, out of mind, will finally stand trial. Why? That’s anybody’s guess.
The government’s star witness is Kimberly Bell, who had a long affair with Bonds. She is going to testify that steroids affected Bond’s sex drive, shriveled his testicles, and caused Bonds to have “roid rage.”
Again, why should anybody, especially our federal government, who is spending millions of dollars of our tax money, really care about any of this?
It is interesting that the only athlete to go to prison so far over steroids is former track star Marion Jones, who is black. Even though the majority of baseball players are white, a black baseball player is the one who is facing prison time.
Even if convicted, Bonds may be able to avoid jail. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston is presiding over the case. She gave cyclist Tammy Thomas, who is white, six months house arrest in 2008 for felony convictions of lying to a grand jury about steroids.
But the feeling is that Bonds is such a key figure that he will get jail time if convicted.
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