Archive for February, 2009

…. Backtalk

Over at the Sports Law Blog, they have posted a guest piece by Aaron Zelinsky and Benjamin Johnson of Yale Law School. Here’s a taste:

…. A-Rod’s comeback needs three things: First, he has to become the public face of baseball purists.

…. Second, A-Rod must devote himself to cleaning up baseball.

…. Finally, A-Rod needs to stay healthy and play as long as he can play well. He must put up Hall of Fame numbers for the next five years to make the case that he is a Hall of Famer without the juice.

Well, that’s an interesting take, but I like Mark DeVincentis’ backtalk even better:

…. I’m not upset with ARod or any of the PED users. I’m more upset about the way it is handled by the government, media, baseball, and the public at large. The hyperbole in the media that fuels the attitude that baseball is somehow in trouble because of steroids stems from a lack of understanding of baseball history.

…. As long as baseball has been played, players have turned to artificial means to enhance their performance.

…. I don’t think that steroids don’t matter, or that efforts should not be made to weed them out of the game, but they should be placed in their proper context. Few things grate on me worse than media sensationalism and playing down to the lowest common denominator… and this whole steroids thing that has been going on for the last 5 or so years is full of both.

Hear, hear! Echoing many of the sentiments that I have been screaming into a closet for those five years, Mark hits the nail on the head. A-Rod shouldn’t have to pander to the BBWAA, nor should Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds or, for that matter, Pete Rose. Few players can claim to have given more to the game than these superstars. Few players have been more dedicated to being the absolute best that they can be, few have worked harder, or brought more excitement and excellence to the national pastime.

I’ll say it again, if the BBWAA continues to hold these players hostage, if the list of players that they decide to exclude from the Hall of Fame continues to grow, then it won’t be a Hall of Fame anymore. It’ll be a place where baseball writers can celebrate their righteousness and hypocrisy.

Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

italics, mine

Let’s not forget that the decision to consider more than just raw statistics or having played for a long time wasn’t happenstance, the idea that integrity and character mattered didn’t occur in a vacuum. At the time of the Hall’s creation, baseball was awash in crooked players, the scandals were what eventually led to the creation of a commissioner’s office, and Kennesaw Mountain Landis. The players who were caught, or just rumored to be involved, (a group that included Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb, by the way), were threatening the game’s integrity, in that the fans would wonder if the results of the game were true. The issue was whether a players or players on one team were in cahoots with the other team to throw the game for betting purposes.

Bill James wrote about baseball in the 1910′s in the New Baseball Historical Abstract:

…. baseball in the teens was collapsing, leaving the players and the owners fighting over the pieces of a shrinking pie. It was bound to get ugly, and it did. The third major story of the decade was a product of the unhappy marriage of the first two. The players started selling games.

It is not my intention to make apologies for the dishonest players. But you have to know two things to understand what happened. Number on, there was a generation of players to whom baseball made a lot o promises which it didn’t keep. And number two, every baseball headline in the decade had a dollar sign attached to it.

…. It is a hard thing to know that another man is making money off your labor, and has no intention of dealing fairly with you.

…. (Charlie) Comiskey held all the power in the relationship between owner and players, and he had to rub their noses in it

Commiskey wasn’t alone in being a miserly owner. By keeping the lion’s share of the profits from the game, the owners were, in effect, forcing the players to choose between being completely taken advantage of, or bend and break the rules of the game to find their own ways to profit on their abilities. (A situation, by the way, in which the owners controlled the game ruthlessly, profiting from the players skill and efforts while the players –even the stars– were forced to work during the off-season, which continued all the way until the end of the reserve clause, and into the birth of true free agency)

The integrity and character clauses were included in response to these conditions, conditions in which the number of players who were rumored or known to have been involved in throwing games was substantial, including stars and even icons.

For at least the last four decades, the majority –if not all– of the “cheating” in baseball has been directed towards winning. The mantra of winning at all costs has been etched into the consciousness of even the youngest baseball players. Defending the game from “cheaters” has nowhere near the same importance in the face of a culture that has consistently looked the other way at bending the rules in an effort to win. Spitballs, scuffed balls, amphetamines, painkillers, and performance enhancers have been used and abused during this time, right in front of the baseball sportswriters, who did and said and wrote nothing about it at all.

Until Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds. Until steroids, and huge, muscled-up players began breaking records. Only when steroids became the PED of choice, and the records started to fall did the writers get themselves all up in arms. Why is that? Why did decades of uppers and downers mean nothing to the writers, but steroids and HGH meant everything? Lack of understanding, fear, and more importantly, nostalgia.

These writers are victims of their own nostalgia. They remember Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, and some of them even saw Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra and Sandy Koufax play, and nobody was breaking their records on speed. Nobody was hitting more home runs than Babe Ruth on speed. Nobody was winning six Cy Young Awards on speed. Nobody was winning seven(!) MVP Awards on speed.

These writers are defending their childhood memories, and poorly at that. They are, in effect, saying that these players aren’t as good as their heroes were, therefore, they are cheating. Never mind that some of their heroes were drunk on the field, or abused speed, or used cocaine during games. Never mind that many of the records they were seeing fall were destined to fall for reasons far more obvious than the simple choice of strength training enhancers.

Their youth was being debased, and for that, these “cheaters” must pay. Remember this when you read Tom Verducci, or Mike Lupica, and remember that these self-proclaimed experts have forgotten baseball history, if they ever knew it at all.

…. Lost

This is the result of living in a culture that values and rewards headline seeking lawyers and government who are more interested in furthering their careers and their own personal vendettas than in taking care of the public trust they have been entrusted with. This what happens when we don’t demand integrity and reason from those charged with managing the fourth estate. This is what it’s like living in a culture that believes it is appropriate to focus on blame, scandal, and hypocrisy, and that criminalizes personal choice:

…. Police in the South Carolina county where Michael Phelps was photographed smoking from a marijuana pipe have been arresting people as they seek to make a case against the superstar swimmer, a lawyer for one arrested person said Thursday.

We have lost our way when police and government officials think it’s OK to spend taxpayers money threatening, arresting and harassing kids who smoke pot. We have lost our way when Congress thinks it needs to worry about whether baseball players use PED’s to be better at a game. We have lost our way, and the voices of reason are being drowned out by the belligerent and the righteous. We have lost our way when the Commissioner of Baseball thinks his anger is enough to change the record book, as if he wasn’t there when all this happened, as if being mad at the facts counts for something:

…. How else to explain the commissioner of baseball’s seemingly desperate threats in USA Today about possibly punishing A-Rod for his steroid transgressions in 2001-03, before baseball had any testing, rules or any regulations in effect for the plague everyone in the game knew was in their midst.

“It was against the law, so I would have to think about that,” Selig said. “It’s very hard. I’ve got to think about all of that stuff.”

Yeah, Bud, it’s very hard to think. It was much easier when you were running the Brewers into the ground, collecting tens of millions of dollars in revenue sharing while allowing your team to languish in last place for a decade. That was much easier than actually having to be in charge of something, to be a leader of men. What a surprise it must be to you that your hand-picked stooge, George Mitchell, couldn’t actually find any real evidence, and now, two years later, you are still having to deal with a problem that you could have made go away, but didn’t; because you have no clue about anything.

All it would have taken was for you to declare full amnesty for any and all who would come forth and help you uncover the truth about what had gone on. Full and complete amnesty, including forgiveness and your promise that no one who came forward would be excluded from the Hall of Fame. That was your chance to help baseball move on. Only you could have done that. It would have required that you take the risk that not everyone would have agreed with you. Sportswriters would have called for your head, because you would have taken away the one thing they control. But it would have worked. You would have gotten the skeletons out of the closet.

Instead, you perpetrated a fraud, after overseeing the explosion of performance enhancing drugs that the decades of open amphetamine abuse had engendered. And now you’re angry? Well, that should help. Why don’t you make some decisions while you’re angry? Nothing like some good, old-fashioned emotional decision-making.

…. Stampede, Part II

Here’s a quick glance at just a few of the writers who have already declared that A-Rod’s apology doesn’t measure up:

George Vescey: …. Minus the tissue box, but with visible emotion, Alex Rodriguez admitted Monday to taking an illegal drug from 2001 through 2003. But was he upset about his image being sullied once again, or was he chastened by being caught cheating? It was hard to tell.

Mike Lupica: …. Rodriguez says he was only dirty when he played in Texas but cleaner than corners on a hospital bed when he was in Seattle before that, and later when he got to New York. We are supposed to accept all that as gospel because he has made this kind of television confession now. Or maybe he just expects us to believe him because he has always been such a good scout.

John Harper: …. Two days after Sports Illustrated reported that A-Rod tested positive in 2003, this came off as a calculated attempt to limit the shame. He kept saying how good it felt to finally come clean and be honest, yet A-Rod was so intentionally vague on specifics of his steroid use that he often sounded disingenuous.

Teri Thompson and Michael O’Keefe: …. Alex Rodriguez suggested in his interview with ESPN’s Peter Gammons that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 because of tainted dietary supplements, but the Yankee third baseman’s explanation is a tough pill to swallow.

: …. Unreal. So lies the career, however neatly parsed for us, and the image of Alex Rodriguez. Even when he took a proper step forward, admitting on Monday that he was a drug cheat, the mirror he looked into was a fun-house mirror. Believe me now, he told us, while making belief difficult for people such as Tom Hicks.

: …. Alex Rodriguez made clear Monday that one thing still separates him from Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, from Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire: he’s smarter. He saw Bonds and Clemens hide behind denials, daring the federal government to come and get them. He saw Palmeiro wave his finger at congressmen. He saw Sosa practically forget how to speak English in the Rayburn building. He saw McGwire turn into a parrot who was “not here to talk about the past.” Like any good hitter, Rodriguez studied the men who came before him, learning from their mistakes and adjusting accordingly for his turn at the plate.

Again, we see the blatant, shameless hypocrisy in action. Demand contrition, backed with threats, very real ones, by the way, like; we’ll make your life a living hell, we’ll badger you to the gates of Hades, we’ll invade your privacy, we’ll hound your family, we’ll make sure your career accomplishments are devalued to the point of running you into complete obscurity. We’ll forget every time you gave us a quote, or a funny anecdote, or a quick interview to help us get ahead in the business, we’ll forget all of the charity work you’ve done, we’ll remind everyone of the time you were rude to somebody, and the biggie, of course….. We’ll keep you out of the Hall of Fame. In short…. We. Will. Ruin. You.

A-Rod’s too smart for that. So he caved. (Forgetting Pete Rose, by the way. Smart as he and Boras are, they forgot about Rose) Because, after you apologize, after you come clean; we will parse every note sounded, every word you say, every blink, movement and tear, and decide whether you have come clean enough. Whether you have apologized enough. Whether you are honest enough. Whether you have faced us and answered all of our questions, exactly as we expect you to.

It’s called moving the cheese, people. An elusive, ever changing demand that can, in actuality, never be met, because meeting the demand is never the real goal. The real goal is that you, the person in the spotlight, do what we require you to do. Public humiliation, mea culpa’s, and all of the requisite hand-wringing, declarations of children saving, honor of the game being defended, be wrought large, on the main stage.

Because in the end, these are just sportswriters, you see. They write about games. Let’s not forget that. These aren’t important writers, writing important things. These are mostly men who weren’t good enough to play a game now believing that it is up to them to protect that game from the guys who were good enough to play it. And only in times like these, when superstars show human, do they get to seem important.

I am important, says Mike Lupica. You must apologize to me, or I will spend my days ruining your life. I am important, says Tom Verducci. I broke the Steroids in Baseball scandal, and my life’s work is now to “clean up THE GAME” as opposed to writing about a game. That’s why these players have to do it in front of the microphone, in front of the camera. That’s why they have to cry, grovel, “stay for every single question,” play it BIG!

I am important, says George Vescey. You have to do it this way.

I’d be laughing if it wasn’t so damn depressing.

…. Stampede

Rushing in? Hardly. Stampeding is a more accurate description. Let’s start with the NY Daily News, a newspaper whose reporters are falling all over themselves to prove they are the ones who will save baseball, and, of course, the children:

…. Alex Rodriguez’s teammates have stood behind him through his many controversies since he donned the pinstripes five years ago.
Some former teammates, however, aren’t pulling their punches.

“All I know is, this is sickening to me,” said the player, who requested anonymity. “But also expected.”

Mark Feinsand

A nice slam job, filled with the requisite anonymous quotes. Shameful, to say the least.

…. When the Yankees re-signed Alex Rodriguez in the fall of 2007, they envisioned the “clean” alternative to Barry Bonds – the knight in shining armor who would erase the stain of steroids from the all-time home run record, and they would bask in the glory of it with their brand.

Now that A-Rod’s pursuit looks as counterfeit as Bonds’, they should do what’s best for the organization:

Cut him loose – no matter the cost.

Bill Madden

Yeah, that’s the ticket. It’s really refreshing to hear such understanding.

…. What’s the highest-paid baseball player in history to do when his legacy is on the rocks?

Party in a tropical paradise, of course.

Just hours after the steroid-tainted slugger earned his nickname A-Fraud, Alex Rodriguez was drowning his sorrows with Grey Goose and Red Bull in the VIP area at Aura Nightclub in the Bahamas.

There, the staff takes pride in “treating every guest as a VIP and every VIP as a king.”

A-Rod certainly wasn’t getting the royal treatment back home – or in the Yankees’ front office.

One Yankees official said the team has no intention of coming to the party boy’s defense, and general manager Brian Cashman has not returned reporters’ calls, which is no surprise, the official noted.

“The ball is really in Alex’s court,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Hal and Hank Steinbrenner spent the weekend at the family’s Ocala Horse Farm in Florida and were talking to team President Randy Levine about the debacle, a source said.

Team brass are expected to take the position that A-Rod’s positive steroid test doesn’t affect the team because it took place before he joined the Yanks.
Many fans are out for blood, and highups in the sports world say A-Rod’s status as one of baseball’s elite players is over after the catastrophic exposé nailing him for steroid use in his 2003 MVP season with the Texas Rangers.

Lisa Lucas, George Rush, Mark Feinsand, Samuel Goldsmith

This is a complete smear, all of it made up lies. No self-respecting journalist would attach their name to it, so pay attention. These guys are more likely to be working at 7-11 than a newspaper in a couple of years.

And then, of course, we get Lupica:

…. The real owner of the Yankees isn’t anybody named Steinbrenner, not anymore. The man who really owns the Yankees now, in all the big ways, is Alex Rodriguez. Joe Torre and Derek Jeter and Mo Rivera and Jorge Posada and even Andy Pettitte – they’re the faces of the old Yankees, what the Yankees used to be. A-Rod is what they have become.

The Yankees knew exactly what they were getting when they signed him to the biggest contract in baseball history 15 months ago. And what they were getting, on top of the gaudy numbers and the chance at baseball’s all-time home run record, was the biggest reality series in baseball.

…. “The amazing thing about Alex, isn’t that the Yankees traded for him in the first place. It’s that they re-signed the guy after he walked away from them the way he did.

Because that means they drank the Kool-Aid twice.

I hear people saying Jeter is probably down in Tampa laughing his a– off because of this drug story about Alex. Are you kidding? Jeter’s crying his a– off, because he knows he’s got to spend the rest of his career playing alongside [Rodriguez].”

If you wanted to know who said that to Lupica, you’d have to ask him, because –surprise– he tells us it was an unnamed American League manager. Here’s a question:

If A-Rod is supposed to come clean, as Lupica insisted in yesterday’s tirade, why aren’t any of these people who have so much to say about him:

…. Alex Rodriguez needs to come clean now, about what Sports Illustrated says is a dirty drug test out of his past. He needs to come clean in a way that Barry Bonds never really has and Roger Clemens probably never will, in a way that Mark McGwire did not come clean when he stood in front of Congress and said that he wasn’t there to talk about the past, when that is all anybody wanted him to talk about.

…. Alex Rodriguez has a chance here to say what you wish a lot of guys like him would say in circumstances like this. To stand up. Unless he’s going to go the other way and say that it’s all a lie, say the whole thing is a giant conspiracy against him the way the pathetic Floyd Landis still does.

But if Rodriguez does say this is all a lie, he’d better be telling the truth.

Yep, you read that right. He’s threatening him. And it’s not an idle threat, by the way. There have already been several articles declaring that A-Rod’s chances for the Hall of Fame are over. Here’s just one, by our good friend and moral captain, Bill Madden:

…. Now that it appears he really is “A-Fraud,” Alex Rodriguez can forget about having his run at Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record taken seriously. And, like Bonds, Rodriguez can probably forget the Hall of Fame, too.

I can’t speak for the rest of my brethren in the Baseball Writers Association who are entrusted with deciding which players are worthy of baseball’s highest honor – a bronze plaque in Cooperstown – but if Mark McGwire’s diminished (and diminishing) support on the ballot is any indication, steroid cheats aren’t going to the Hall of Fame unless they’re visiting.

Yeah. And if Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez aren’t in the Hall of Fame, it isn’t a Hall of Fame, it’s a Hall of Hypocrisy. Maybe we need to figure out a way to test the DNA samples of Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb, and Babe Ruth while we’re at it. What a farce.

UPDATE: A-Rod has apologized:

…. His voice shaking at times, Alex Rodriguez met head-on allegations that he tested positive for steroids six years ago, telling ESPN on Monday that he did take performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers during a three-year period beginning in 2001.

“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform, and perform at a high level every day. Back then, [baseball] was a different culture,” Rodriguez said. “It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.

“I did take a banned substance. For that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”

UPDATE, Part II: Well, that didn’t take long. Just like Pete Rose, who was promised a full pardon by the BBWAA if he would just finally apologize, A-Rod can’t do enough:

…. He’s really, really sorry.

Sure. He’s sorry he got caught. Everyone’s sorry when he’s caught. But you’re really sorry only if you think that what you did was wrong, and I don’t believe that any of these guys really believe they did anything wrong.

Way to go, Rob. Make sure you keep moving the target.

(Editor’s note) You can find all the links at the NY Daily News Sports page.

…. Fools rush in

And now, A-Rod.

…. In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told .

Fools, all of them.

The union, for failing to protect the interests of their constituents by destroying the survey samples the minute they were finished with them.

For allowing the testing companies to devise any possible way to link the players to the samples, and then standing around with their dicks in their hands while the government smashed in the storefront and stole all of the documentation.

…. According to court documents, when the federal agent Jeff Novitzky and other investigators went to Comprehensive Drug Testing on April 8, 2004, employees there were initially helpful, but after speaking with lawyers they said they would not help the agents.

When Novitzky informed the employees that the government might seize many of Comprehensive Drug Testing’s computers for up to 60 days, one employee contacted a company lawyer “exclaiming that such a seizure would ‘shut the business down,’ “ the court documents said.

Ultimately, the agents discovered a master list of all the players who tested positive during their search of Comprehensive Drug Testing. A search that had been initiated to find results for the 10 Balco players had yielded far more, including, apparently, a positive test result for Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, other federal agents at Quest Diagnostics in Las Vegas, armed with the code numbers obtained at Comprehensive Drug Testing, first seized the matching urine samples for the Balco players and, a month later, for all the players who tested positive.

It remains unclear why the union did not have the 2003 tests destroyed once the survey was completed. It had the right to do so under the original testing agreement with Major League Baseball. The union is restricted by court order from commenting on why the tests were not destroyed.

Unclear? It is not at all unclear why they didn’t. They failed to destroy the tests because they were incompetent. They were fools.

They –the players, the union, the players agents, the whole lot of them– have failed to be ahead of the curve for the entire time this farce has gone on. There has not been one instance where the players or the union or anyone has said or done something that could be considered thoughtful, or insightful, or part of well-thought out plan. They have been reacting –badly, for the most part– instead of acting.

Incompetent fools.

Not, of course, any more than the players who failed the survey tests, tests that were agreed upon by the union, that everyone knew were coming; that these morons still couldn’t pass. The players that failed tests that they were told were coming are the uber-fools. They are the kind of fools that make regular fools look smart. These guys shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car, they are so far past the point of being able to be in charge of their own lives.

And then, of course, we have the utter fools, the men at the pinnacle of the fool pyramid, the players who have sat around for most of the last four years denying that they ever used PED’s, knowing full well that they had, and that they had failed tests, and that someone would eventually find out, and write a story about it. Many of them not just denying it, but denying it with extreme prejudice:

Lt. Weinberg: “I strenuously object?” Is that how it works? Hm? “Objection.” “Overruled.” “Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object.” “Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider.”

Clemens, A-Rod, Bonds, the whole lot of them. Utter fools. There should be an ESPY for that.

And let’s not forget the angry fools, IRS Agent Novitzky and his team, who think they are some kind of heroes. Yeah, what a great fucking job you guys are doing. Terrorizing a weight trainer and his mother-in-law. Destroying the government’s credibility, shitting on any notion of justice, fair play, and the idea that the interests of the people should be measured against the costs of your vigilance. Throwing millions of dollars on the ground in an effort to get a baseball player you didn’t like. Too bad Bush is gone, I guess you guys won’t get your stars on the wall at Langley after all. Maybe they can put your picture on the wall at the IRS headquarters.

Here’s how the players could have handled this at the beginning, perhaps even should have handled it:

“Yes, I used PED’s. At the time, they weren’t expressly forbidden by baseball, and I wanted to be the best I could, so I did it. I’m sorry. I don’t do it anymore.”

That’s all it would’ve taken. Instead, we get these last five years of insanity. We get one talking head after another telling us about the end of civilization as we know it. We get one absurd, “Save the children,” op-ed piece after another, we get the laughable gravitas of Bob Levy’s “Outside the Lines” expose’s.

And now we get A-Rod.

…. Really?

Victor Conte continues to defend Bonds:

…. “I have not reviewed all of the documents that were released today in the Barry Bonds case. However, from what I have seen thus far, many questions arise about the blood and urine samples allegedly collected from Bonds and processed by BALCO. These questions need answers than can be substantiated.

A laboratory test result is only as valid as the history and integrity of the sample analyzed. Regarding Bonds’ alleged positive test results, it is important to realize that the quality control measures taken by Quest Diagnostics are of no value if the specimens they tested were not authenticated and handled properly before they were received. It has been indicated that these urine samples were initially handled by Greg Anderson and thereafter by BALCO’s James Valente. Neither of them has a degree or license that would qualify them to process such laboratory samples. These tests results are identified by a number only. There is no name on these reports, and there was no legal chain of custody. In fact, BALCO received a significant reduction price for the testing by agreeing to waive all chain of custody requirements.

Finally, these samples were not handled and processed as a part of the routine BALCO Laboratories business, nor were the records that were kept for these types of samples. The dates on most of these Quest Diagnostic test results for anabolic steroids do not match the dates on the ledgers that were reportedly kept by James Valente. For these test results, the discrepancies in the dates ranges from one to as many as nine days. These alleged Bonds test results and records not only lack a chain of custody and contain inaccuracies, but they also involve people with no formal training. This causes uncertainty and creates doubt regarding the validity of this testing and record keeping evidence.”

Doesn’t anybody else wonder why Conte keeps defending Barry? For what gain? To what purpose? I mean, other than the fact that he believes that Barry actually didn’t use steroids. It’s a truly amazing case, when you think about it.

The two men who would stand to gain the most in bringing Barry down, the two men with the most first-hand knowledge and experience in the situation refuse, absolutely refuse to do so. One has gone to jail over his insistence that he won’t –and just recently seen his family put in harm’s way– and still stays silent, and the other certainly got into more trouble because he wouldn’t.

Shouldn’t that count for something?

UPDATE: I guess it does, after all. ;-)

Barry Bonds had a great day in court today, as the presiding judge seemed prepared to throw out several key pieces of evidence:

…. U.S. district judge Susan Illston indicated Thursday that she will exclude evidence that prosecutors say links Barry Bonds to positive drug tests, including three positive tests seized in a raid on the BALCO laboratory in 2003.

According to Illston, who held an evidentiary hearing on the admissibility of evidence the government is presenting in Bonds’ upcoming trial on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, the government cannot link Bonds to the tests without the testimony of Greg Anderson, Bonds’ former trainer.

And, finally, we hear a voice of reason amongst the cacophony of hypocrisy:

…. At a time when the nation is in one of the deepest recessions in its history, when hundreds of thousands of Americans are barely surviving, the government is spending millions of dollars to prosecute Barry Bonds.

…. The new administration should step in and instruct the United States attorney’s office to end this fool’s mission against Bonds.

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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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