November 15, 2007
Barry Bonds was indicted Thursday for perjury and obstruction of justice, charged with lying when he told a federal grand jury that he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.
If convicted on all five counts, baseball's home run king could go to prison for up to 30 years.
"During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances for Bonds and other athletes," the indictment read.
The indictment is here
(PDF), and some legal commentary is here
. I'll just say this, since I heard some talk about "wiping" the record books of Bonds' accomplishments on the teevee earlier: Last I checked, Pete Rose was still considered the Hit King, Denny McLain was still the last 30-game winner (perhaps the last ever), and guys like Shoeless Joe Jackson and Kirby Puckett were still on the books. The stats are just a record of what happened; to deny them is to deny history. If in due time, Barry Bonds gets convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony, we can talk about whether or not he should be denied entry to the Hall of Fame. Until then, he's still got a presumption of innocence. Not that I expect the average sportswriter to care, but there it is.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 15, 2007 to Baseball
Note that the indictments only indirectly relate to Bond's on-the-field performance. The indictments all relate to his failure to cooperate in the investigation.
Now, the underlying events that he is accussed of covering-up may likely include steroid use that affected his on-the-field performance. For now, though, the indictments deal with his activities off-the-field and outside of the clubhouse. Certainly, there is a very dark cloud hanging over Bonds, but that cloud hasn't yet reached his on-the-field accomplishments.
The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly, but when they are activated they also grind exceedingly fine.
Look at Bonds' photos from his rookie year, and then five years later, and then new photos.
He doesn't do a Schwarzenegger-style weightlifting routine for eight hours a day to create musculature (and nor did McGwire or Sosa, both of whom also "bulked up" a lot over the years), so how did he get so ... puffed up?
And yes, there should be an asterisk in the records, if they're allowed to stand at all.
Ruth drank, smoked, chased women -- and pitched.
Aaron? I dunno, I was a kid not paying much attention.
But Bonds...no, sorry. "Respect" goes to guys (and gals) who play by the rules and win anyway.