Remember that? Remember when Chris Berman used to call Bonds that on the highlights. Jesus, I can't believe how long it's been since baseball was a game for me, and I used to wait every night for the Sportscenter highlights….
Man, that seems like a lifetime ago.
So now that Bonds is about to head into his absurd perjury trial, Jonathan Littman has come out with another Playboy article, this one laying bare the fraud that IRS agent Jeff Novitzy has been from minute one:
…. This spring’s perjury trial of Bonds—scheduled to begin in early March—promises to draw a carnival of television, print and Internet attention not seen since the first O.J. Simpson spectacle. Forgotten in this media orgy is that Barry Bonds is no O.J. No one was murdered. Nothing was stolen. No victim has been found. And Bonds may not have done anything particularly different from hundreds of other ballplayers.
…. How did allegations of cheating in sports rise to the level of a federal crime and become a subject considered so critical that everyone from George W. Bush to Senator John McCain wanted to cast a stone at Bonds? Why did whatever Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Marion Jones said (or didn’t say) become worthy of a $55 million federal investigation? Why for more than half a decade did so many miss the hypocrisy and brutal irony of what may one day be looked upon as the biggest put-up job in all of sports?
…. Novitzky became a world unto h
imself. He rebuffed attempts by the San Mateo Drug Task Force to bring in another undercover agent. Requests to bring in the FBI or DEA to do phone wiretaps or recruit new undercover agents were rejected. What had begun as a joint federal, state and local investigation was fast becoming one controlled by a single man. The undercover operation, wiretaps and Dumpster diving were about to give way to something never before seen in sports: a parade of high-profile athletes forced to speak about their drug use under penalty of perjury before the watchful eye of an IRS man—Novitzky.
…. Bonds was not given the same opportunity offered to virtually every other athlete who gave grand-jury testimony: the chance to view the evidence against them before they testified. When Bonds’s 149-page grand-jury transcript was finally made public, in early 2008, there was no doubt that the slugger was being asked about documents he’d never seen.
(Bonds attorney, Michael) Rains said, “It was a perjury trap.”
I could cut and paste the whole thing, but that wouldn't be fair. You must read the whole thing to realize that Littman is saying exactly what I have been saying for years now; that Bonds is being singled out, that this witch hunt is a complete fraud, that Novitzky has broken the law himself, almost certainly more seriously than whatever horseshit the government is trying to nail Bonds for, and that the driving force behind the entire steroids “scandal” has been and still is money money money money.
Great work by Littman.