Archive for January, 2009

…. Obscene

That’s what this is. Obscene. Disgraceful. Everyone is supposed to be treated equally by the US Government, everyone is supposed to have the same rights, including the right to a fair trial.

…. Twenty agents from the FBI and IRS raided the home of Madeleine Gestas, who has been targeted by the feds for financial crimes. She is the mother of Anderson’s wife, Nicole.

…. The day after Greg was released, they sent a target letter to his wife,” said (Anderson’s attorney Mark) Geragos. “Almost 30 days before the trial, they now execute a search warrant at his mother-in-law’s house. This is coming on the heels of a letter they wrote me two days ago, demanding to know whether or not he was contingent to testify. I’m ashamed of my government. Even the mafia spares the women and children. It’s nothing more than cheap theatrics and frankly, disgusting tactics. It’s blatant intimidation.”

There is nothing fair about this anymore, nothing at all. And forget about fair, how about the astonishing abuse of power we’re seeing here. Barry Bonds didn’t kill anyone, he doesn’t smuggle cocaine into high schools, or rape little girls. He used something to make himself better at what he does for a living. He took steps to improve himself. Regardless of whether you think it was right or wrong, whether you believe that it is the government’s job to tell us what is legal or illegal to take to make us happier, stronger, faster or just plain high; what Bonds did is in no way commensurate to the level of money being spent, and quite frankly, laws being broken, in chasing him down.

Make no mistake, standing by and watching our government do this without a word of protest will haunt us. This is a targeted witch hunt, a black man who is being taken down because a government employee –a man whose salary is paid for by you and me– IRS Agent Jeff Novitzky, decided he wanted to take him down because he was an, “arrogant asshole.”

Not to mention, this investigation, costing between $30 and $50 million while our economy is crashing like the Hindenburg, is the height of absurdity. Twenty federal agents raiding the home of a 60-year old woman, in an effort to pressure Greg Anderson to testify? Really?

Obama, you need to step in here, and shut this horror-show down.

UPDATE: So now we learn that the feds have the sealed samples from the MLB testing program, and they are saying that Bonds failed multiple tests:

…. Barry Bonds tested positive for steroids four times in drug screenings conducted between 2000 and 2003, according to court documents unsealed on Wednesday by the federal judge who will preside over the home run king’s perjury trial next month in San Francisco.

Here’s what Michael McCann from the Sports Law Blog (special to Sports Illustrated) about this:

…. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston unsealed hundreds of pages of court filings in the Barry Bonds’ perjury case on Wednesday. Taken together, the documents appear to strengthen the government’s case that Bonds knowingly used steroids.

The most important document may be the transcript of a recorded conversation between Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, and Bonds’ former business partner and longtime friend, Steve Hoskins.

…. The admissibility of this potentially damning transcript is another matter, however. Bonds’ counsel will argue that a transcript of a conversation between two persons who are not parties to the case, and which was made outside the courtroom, comprises hearsay — an out-of-court statement which is presented in court to prove the truth of a matter material to the defendant’s guilt or innocence. In response the government will argue that an exception to hearsay applies, most notably the “declarations against interest” exception, which in this case would reflect Anderson making a series of self-incriminating statements to Hoskins — the logic is that Anderson would only make such statements if they were true.

Not looking too good for Barry right now….

…. Hall of Fame

With all of the talk of Rickey, Raines and Rice, Jeff Kent just announced his upcoming retirement announcement(huh?). Kent seems like a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, and I’d like to remember him as an intense competitor –albeit an asshole– and one of the greatest Giants of all time.

…. Talk talk

Well, I’ve been vacationing, and while I’ve been away, you guys haven’t been playing nice ;-)

The Ramirez rumor doesn’t seem to have much to it, but it was nice while it lasted. Regardless of how much he would’ve cost (in all ways), at least he actually has talent and produces.

And as for the Giants being competitive in the NL West, even if you think Mia and I are nuts, there’s at least one writer that agrees with us:

…. For this staff to win with this offense, everything needs to go right for the pitchers. (italics, mine)

…. The Giants pitchers Marcel the Monkey Projections work) out to a 4.02 ERA for the group. Since 89 percent of runs are earned, that ERA translates to 4.52 runs per nine innings. Assuming the bullpen pitches at the same level, we can look at the graph and see that the Giants will need to score about 5.2 runs per game to reach 92 wins.

Reaching that level will be difficult with their current offense. The Lineup Analysis Tool at my website, Baseball Musings, estimates runs scored for a batting order. The current group of hitters rates at 4.2 runs per game.

Using the Pythagorean projection, 4.2 runs scored and 4.5 runs allowed per game works out to a .464 winnings percentage, or 75 team wins.

…. The Giants could work on the offensive side as well. Manny Ramirez is available, and with him in the lineup, their runs scored per game goes up to 4.5, bringing the Giants to .500.

At that level, the Giants may be able to compete in a weak division. The Dodgers took the West with just 84 wins in 2008. With a little luck, a .500 team can easily win 85 or 86 games. Given the lack of improvement among their contenders, that might put them on top.

Don’t look for Giants starters to be a cheap source of wins, however. They are a long way from being true contenders, and even Lincecum is likely to be down after his impressive ’08 season.

How many ways does this piece reflect everything I’ve been saying?

Let’s see….

1. We have nothing even remotely like a conteders level of offense.
2. If the addition of a true superstar like Ramirez only adds .3 runs per game to our team, and something like 10 wins, the of course, expecting Edgar Renteria could make any kind of impact whatsoever is laughable.
3. Planning a season based on the premise that a substantial number of our pitchers will be as good or better than they were last season is absurd.
4. And even Tim Lincecum is all but certain to regress, at least a little.

But –in at least one way– all of you optimists have your day; in that even the venerable David Pinto thinks that the team could be one player away from contending in a terrible division, (if that player is the very best hitter available, and just about every other player on the team meets or exceeds expectations).

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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