Sunday, February 1, 2009

Barry Lamar Bonds—Being Fitted for a Cross

Ladies and gentlemen, the witch-hunt is on! The federal government is picking up where Major League Baseball left off. Actually, Bud Selig and (paid-off) friends haven't stopped, but they're no longer significant since Barry Lamar Bonds is facing federal charges. The starting gun was lost in all the pre-Super Bowl, National Football League mania, but it's been fired.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Since I already did it in that article, I won't re-indulge myself in the injustice of holding Bonds responsible for a generation of athletes' "sins." I'll just repeat that abuse of performance-enhancers is a widespread issue in professional athletics. Too endemic to pin on one man, no matter the size of his head (figuratively/literally) or accomplishments.

Or how much of a donkey he was been (and apparently continues to be).

For those haters out there who would argue that the firing squad lining up in front of Barry is preparing for a righteous kill, listen up.

There is nothing righteous about instituting a federal tax invasion against the mother-in-law and wife of Greg Anderson in an effort to get him to roll on Barry Bonds. In fact, it's a pretty damn unconstitutional abuse of process and malicious prosecution if you ask me—not that anyone would or has. Remember, attempts to force Anderson via direct pressure (aka a year in prison) were ineffective and then this little gem pops up.

Yeah, that's pure coincidence.

Don't get me wrong—the time in prison for Anderson was perfectly fair. He was given a chance to explain himself and the court decided he was obstructing justice. Done and done.

This latest maneuver, though, is totally fatuous and ridiculously inefficient to boot.

The economy is crumbling, stalwart companies are dumping jobs like radioactive waste, the Nation is in two wars, and part of the Justice Department has a pro baseball player bent over a barrel. Not only that, it's bending the Sacred Document to do it.

And this has been going on since 2003.

How much money do you think has been wasted? How many man/woman hours? How much brain power and other intangible resources that could have been better spent towards the considerable and real problems facing our Country?

The whole thing is just awesome.

Then, there's the actual perjury charge against Barry.

Again, this one started off totally fair—I don't believe for a second that Bonds would put anything in or on his body without knowing exactly what it was. Nor would he let anyone else. No, you can definitely add perjury to his list of personal accolades. You just will never be able to add a perjury conviction to them.

The bigger issue is that the prosecutors have to know it.

Understand, perjury is almost impossible to convict unless you've got some sort of recording of the individual making a statement like "hey, I perjured myself" or "I knew exactly what I was putting in my body" or something equally incriminating. You need such because you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the man lied.

That means proving he knew he was using performance-enhancers, not that he was on performance-enhancers.

So you have to prove Barry's subjective state of mind beyond a reasonable doubt. That's pretty freakin' difficult in any sense of the phrase. It's even more brutal doing so when used in the legal sense.

You've gotta prove that NO reasonable person could doubt that Bonds lied. But the legal reasonable person can't have any preconceived notions about Barry until they're proven in court—he/she can't consider what a dick Bonds is or any of the other skeletons in his closet since most aren't relevant. The reasonable person would be able to look at whether Bonds has a deceitful character or a reputation for being fastidious about what goes into his body if such can be shown.

But look at the evidence:

A statement by a jilted lover, leaked grand jury testimony (that's pretty egregious by itself), positive urine tests, testimony by Bobby Estalella and the Brothers Giambi that they had juice schedules prepared for them by Anderson as well as the juice itself, and other circumstantial tripe like BALCO documents with his first name and last initial on it.

That's all really conclusive for proving that Barry Lamar Bonds was on steroids or human growth hormone or whatever. It also makes him look really bad in the court of public opinion.

Unfortunately, it just won't float a conviction in federal court for the serious felony of perjury (at least it shouldn't as I understand things). None of the above shows Barry has a history of lying or making sure he knows exactly what's going into his body. All it shows is that an ex-girlfriend may or may not be exacting revenge and that his trainer gave steroids to other people as well as Barry.

Again, the issue is whether Bonds knew anything.

Our courts don't like to hand out serious punishment when there is a shred of legal doubt and none of that really proves anything legally about Barry's knowledge of the situation. That's the key—it's ultimately a legal decision controlled by the courts. Even if the jury decides the factual issue against Bonds this time around, I promise you Bonds' legal team already has the appeal typed up.

Maybe the prosecution has an ace up its sleeve except it doesn't. The prison time and tax investigation prove that the ace is Greg Anderson. If the prosecution had anything else, we'd have seen it in the last five (going on six) years.

No, the ace is Anderson and the ace is not talking.

And the longer he stays silent, the louder the witch-hunt becomes. People are already beginning to notice and that's good news for Barry Lamar Bonds.

Because everyone love a martyr, even if it's Barry.

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