Archive for March, 2008

…. Nobody knows

Except for him.

…. When Barry Bonds’ 2003 grand jury testimony was unsealed last week, media outlets jumped on a particular portion of the transcript like a powerlifter on a barbell.

“Blood-test results show Bonds’ testosterone soaring,” read one report.

Bonds had “a drug test from seven years ago that showed an elevated testosterone level,” said another.

Bonds “had elevated testosterone levels in January 2001,” yet another said.

From ESPN to USA Today to your local shopper, it was widely reported that the transcript showed that Barry Bonds had a sharply elevated testosterone level in 2001, indicating another “failed test.”

Only one problem: In my opinion, the reporting is not accurate.

That’s Victor Conte, who, for some reason, continues to defend Barry Bonds. Now, why would he do that? Why would Conte write an editorial for the NY Daily News in which he details exactly why the horseshit we keep reading is just that, horseshit? Why is Conte still defending Bonds?

Anyone have any ideas?

UPDATE: Lupica has ideas, and to characterize them as draconian and patently absurd is to give them too much credence:

…. You take illegal drugs in sports and you get caught and then you lie about it and you go to jail. That’s how it works now.

That’s how it works now. That’s some way to look at things. Again, the question isn’t whether Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds should be prosecuted; the question is whether anything any athlete does warrants this kind of money and time and effort by an already disappointing Justice Department.

The sentences handed down in these cases tell you all you need to know to see what a farce this is. Marion Jones got 6 months, and she was sentenced by a judge who had the gall to lecture her about being a good parent while he was taking her away from her young child for lying. Victor Conte, the mastermind of BALCO, was out of jail in less than a year. These cases are dog and pony shows, plain and simple. Disgraceful misappropriation of resources, for little purpose other than career advancement for assholes like Novitzky, or pious moralizing and posturing by whoever stands to gain the most by proving they will save the children.

That’s how it works now, lie, and go to jail. Steal from taxpayers, and have a library named for you. Torture and kill, and get a raise. Lie about playing a game, go to jail.

We have reached the end of the road, absurdity taken to it’s bizarre conclusion.

…. Bad news Giants

Frandsen can’t handle shortstop, meaning, what, exactly?

Another pitcher shows that, of all things, our pitchers aren’t the least bit ready for the season to begin.

And, adding injury to insult, now we learn that Noah Lowry needs surgery and could miss the start of the season, at least.

…. San Francisco Giants pitcher Noah Lowry will have surgery on his left forearm Friday after a recent bout of wildness and is probably out until the end of April.

Lowry was the Giants’ top winner with a 14-8 record last season. The lefty had trouble throwing strikes this spring and the team sent him back to the Bay Area to be examined by a hand specialist.

The Giants said Thursday that Lowry was diagnosed with exertional compartment syndrome. According to, it is “an exercise-induced neuromuscular condition that causes pain, swelling and sometimes even disability in affected muscles of the legs or arms” and seems to affect primarily athletes in their 20s.

Wow. Hey, Sabean, you have any idea what’s going on, right now?

….. Huh?

Somebody thinks the government has better things to do than waste money trying to prove whether a baseball player lied?

…. America has bigger problems than Roger Clemens and steroids, Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday.

The New York Democrat called on the FBI to end its investigation into whether the Rocket lied to Congress.

Federal law-enforcement officials should use their limited resources to target serious threats to the nation, such as terrorism and organized crime, Weiner said during a conference call with reporters.

I wonder if any of the crack reporters on that conference call asked Weiner where he was the last five years as the government wasted tens of millions of dollars and thousands of hours of billable time investigating Barry Bonds? Based on the article, I’d guess, no.

I’ll ask again, why is Clemens being treated differently? Is it because he’s white? Bonds is being colluded out of the game right now, one of the best hitters in baseball unable to get a job, and all supposedly because of the cloud his perjury case is causing. So, why haven’t we heard anyone call for the dismissal of Bonds’ case? Instead, we get to hear what a hero Jeff Novitzky is, which, by the way, is a joke. Novitzky is an IRS agent who abused his position in government to embark on a multi-million dollar vendetta against a baseball player he didn’t like. After all of the money and time spent on the BALCO investigation, we saw the two main guys, Victor Conte and Greg Anderson, spend a total of about 15 months in jail. Now, we see who the real target has been all along.

Bonds’ indictment is going nowhere. He is the guy they’re gonna bring down, cost be damned.

…. Perjurific

ShysterBall has an in-depth look at the Bonds indictment:

…. To understand why I think this indictment is weak, you have to understand one simple thing: this is not a case about whether Barry Bonds took steroids. He did. That he did is pretty painstakingly documented. Indeed, to the extent you hear someone talking about Barry Bonds as likely to be convicted because, yes, he did take steroids, feel free to ignore that person because they don’t know what they’re talking about. For purposes of this perjury case the fact of his actually taking steroids is irrelevant. This is a case about whether Barry Bonds knew he was taking steroids prior to December 4, 2003. Or, more to the point, a case about whether the government can prove that he knew he was taking steroids prior to December 4, 2003.

As to that: Bonds says multiple times that he had no idea he was taking steroids. Greg Anderson didn’t tell him, and he didn’t ask. He had no idea what his BALCO blood and urine tests said because no one told him and he didn’t ask. You can choose to believe him on these points or not, but in order to convict Barry Bonds of perjury, the government cannot simply admit Game of Shadows into evidence or establish that the cream and the clear are steroids. Rather, they need someone to come in and testify about what Barry Bonds knew and when he knew it. Based on the indictment they went with, his knowledge is all that matters.

There is a lot of examination of the exchanges between Bonds and the prosecutors, but one thing stands out, convicting Bonds is gonna be tough based on what he said. If they have a bombshell, which we still don’t know about, ok, but without that, their case looks like a loser.

Hat tip to David Pinto, (as usual).

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Bruce Jenkins finds a few things the Giants can be pleased about in spring training:

…. With Rich Aurilia’s hamstring acting up, Eugenio Velez has seen a lot of time at third base in the exhibition games, and his exceptional speed has impressed everyone in camp. If what we’re seeing is for real, he eventually could be the disruptive leadoff man the Giants so badly need.

When the position players first reported, Travis Denker was little more than the player acquired from the Dodgers for Mark Sweeney – pretty much a low-rent deal. He arrived in time to be a huge factor in San Jose’s run to the California League (Class A) title last year, hitting .480 with three homers in seven postseason games, but he figured to be one of those in-and-out guys on the Cactus League scene.

Denker might not make the Giants’ roster, but few of their young players look as solid at the plate as this 5-foot-9, 163-pound second baseman. Denker, who had a 2-for-4 game against Seattle on Friday, stepped up against right-handed reliever Shingo Takatsu in the seventh inning Sunday and crushed a two-run homer, a highlight of the Giants’ 8-6 win.

…. Bad news bears?

Courtesy of David Pinto, the Boston Globe has an article which talks about how winning early matters for team ownership groups:

…. In professional sports, an owner’s commitment to winning right out of the gate counts, according to a Globe compilation and analysis of championships won by the last two rounds of owners for every team in the four major US sports leagues. If new owners don’t win a championship within five to eight years of buying a team, depending on the sport, their chances of ever doing so decline dramatically, the Globe found. Many will never win.

One more reason for gloom. Magowan and company had a real chance in their first season (1993, when they won 103 games and missed the playoffs). They had it again in year five (1997), and then again between 2000-04. They’ve had so much bad luck, (it’s not too hard to imagine about forty different things that could have happened that would have ended with a parade in San Francisco during any one of those seasons), but it was not to be.

Now the team has entered the dark ages. A championship hasn’t been this far from reality since the Magowan group took over. It’s now in the history books. No team in baseball history has ever had so great a player play so well, for so long, and failed to taste champagne.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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