Dayn Perry had an excellent post this morning, “The Case Against the Case Against Barry Bonds.” In terms easy for a legal novice like me to understand, he explains the main elements of the federal case and simultaneously cuts it to shreds. He also seamlessly uses the phrase “many-tentacled:”
Barry Bonds’ terminally looming jury trial has been postponed, perhaps until the fall. At some point, though, he’ll probably be dragged in front of his peers on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. All of it, of course, traces back to the many-tentacled BALCO scandal, which has been too much with us for the better part of a decade. But it’s going to end soon, and this will almost certainly be the closing scene: Bonds’ walking out of the federal courthouse in San Francisco a free man.
Maybe I found the post so informative because I haven’t followed the Bonds case much. I’ve been burnt out on steroid and PED stories, and anyway the jury in my head convicted Barry Bonds about five years ago. Perry’s post leaves me asking an important question. Who cares? Aside from the purely legal aspect (Bonds probably broke the law), I don’t see how the outcome of this trial does anything to significantly affect his legacy. He’s guilty in the public conscience, and it will take a hell of a lot more than some court decision for him to regain his footing. It will take a lot of humility, some profuse apologies, and maybe a little bit of groveling. None of those are going to happen here.
The example I can’t help but turn to (noting the difference between killing someone and cheating a little) is OJ Simpson. Most people think OJ did it. Obviously that brings up a lot of racial implications i, but Bonds can easily be substituted for Roger Clemens or Rafael Pameiro who their own legal swamps, and the question doesn’t change. A major sports star betrays the public’s trust, refuses to own up, and devolves into some kind of sad parody of his former existence.
How long before Barry Bonds coauthors If I Juiced: The Mystery Novel? How long before Bobby Estalella, the career .216 hitter who owned up to his own steroid use, is held as a model of dignity beside his former teammate?