The author, Rich Couch, then discusses said trial, debating whether it is in fact a perjury or a steroid trial, the testimony of Bonds’ long-time mistress, Kimberly Bell, the element of racism, Sammy Sosa’s feigned language challenges under oath, and the related matter of admitted steroid-user Mark Mcguire who “is slowly being forgiven” and now serves as the St. Louis batting coach.
Now in its second week, Bonds’ trial is indeed a sticky wicket and this week became a voyeuristic delight: Bell testified concerning Bonds’ mean and violent streaks, steroid side effects of impotency and, to put it delicately, shriveling of certain body parts. Bonds’ lawyers countered the latter by touting his multiple affairs as proof of his sexual potency and lack of shriveling at the same time they sleazily attempted to paint Bell as an ungrateful, money-grubbing slut.
It doesn’t get any better–or worse, depending on your point of view–on primetime TV!
The most pronounced and most publicly visible side effect of using illegal anabolic steroids, a synthetic hormone, is bulking up virtually every area of the body, virtually as Bell testified, including head size. Bonds’ head bulged by half an inch.
Coincidental with his alleged but denied steroid use, the son of Bobby Bonds and cousin of Reggie Jackson went from being a good ball player on the San Francisco Giants to a Hall of Fame-quality athlete who set records that may never be broken.
He and baseball fans saw his home run totals grow from an excellent output of 49 in 2000 to an astounding 73 the next year. His batting average climbed from .262, slugging average .617 in 1999, when Bell says he had a steroid-caused elbow injury, to .362 with a slugging average climbing to an even more astounding .863 in 2001. He ended his career breaking Mcguire’s single season homer record with 73 and Hank Aaron’s career total with 762.
Babe Ruth’s record of hitting the equivalent of a rolled up sock out of the park 714 times under the influence of just beer and hot dogs was long gone but either Barry had suddenly discovered an amazing groove in a short period of time or he’s a liar.
Kimberly Bell may have her own fish to fry and may still be annoyed at being dumped and being marooned in Houston by Bonds after 9/11 when he took the team plane home and left her to fend for herself. Bonds’ unfortunate shriveling may be a burden he has to bear. He may have recovered and congrats for that. Mark Mcguire may have gotten off easily but he did, under duress, fess up. So, too, did former Yankee Jason Giambi come clean and on Tuesday contradicted Bonds’ absurd contention that his trainer was supplying him with flaxseed oil.
However, to even suggest Bonds’ perjury trial is racially motivated is to demean America’s judicial system and akin to something Attorney General Eric Holder or Al Sharpton might do. Black, white, green, or purple, Bonds not only lied under oath but encouraged young athletes to follow his path to glory at the risk of incurring irreparable damage to their bodies.
Pete Rose should be inducted into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame before Barry Bonds–or Mark McGuire–should even be considered. All set records but Rose’s gambling addiction doesn’t compare in the seriousness of the damage Bonds and McGuire inflicted on MLB.
Contrary to Rich Couch’s view that there can be no good ending to this trial, I humbly submit that there could be a very good ending contingent on various factors. Start with expunging all baseball stats and records broken by proven steroid cheaters. Follow that with Bonds manning up, admitting his lies, apologizing to Kimberly Bell, and launching a new career as an anti-steroid advocate.
That’s as likely to happen as the resignation of MLB commissioner Bud Selig who enabled and winked at the illegal use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in baseball.