- The Barry Bonds farce…er…trial:
Why is the government wasting everyone’s time and, more importantly, money with this farce?
It’s as if they feel as though they’ve gone this far and they have to see it through. Thus far from what we’ve heard, a conviction is unlikely; and if there is a conviction, the time Bonds has to serve will be nearly non-existent, he’ll be in a medium-to-low security prison (if he gets any time at all), and the streets are not going to be one iota safer with Bonds locked away.
It’s a farce.
And that’s before getting to the testimony.
Taped conversations that no one can understand with only the name “Barry” mentioned?
A former Bonds employee testifying because he was worried about Barry’s health and stating that trainer Greg Anderson emerged from Bonds’s bedroom holding a syringe?
This is the evidence?
I’m not of the mind to disbelieve someone because they may have an axe to grind—it doesn’t mean they’re a liar—but the former employee, Steve Hoskins, doesn’t sound particularly credible. Then there’s the following bit snipped from this NY Times Story:
In 2000, he (Hoskins) saw Anderson — who is in prison after refusing to testify — leaving Bonds’s bedroom at spring training with a syringe in his hand. Every spring training from 2000 to 2003, Hoskins said, he saw Bonds and Anderson disappear into that room together for several minutes.
That proves what?
For all Hoskins knows, Anderson—a serious bodybuilder—was shooting the drugs into himself. And that’s assuming they were drugs. He doesn’t know what was in this supposed syringe, what Anderson did with it or where he shot it. He could’ve shot it into the toilet. Who knows what was going on in that bedroom?
They could’ve been dancing a tango and using the syringe to hide their penchant for male-on-male mincing and prancing.
I’m being snarky, but it’s true.
You can begin with random assumptions concerning Bonds’s bodily growth, increased power on the field and the circumstantial evidence that he was using steroids—of course he was—but this is the government’s case?
Soon we’re going to hear from Bonds’s former mistress testifying about Bonds’s physical transformation and shrunken testicles; the implication is that these factors are indicative of steroid use.
They are, but this too is shaky at best.
As I said in a posting weeks ago, Barry Bonds didn’t need drugs to behave like a jerk to wives, girlfriends, minions, teammates, “friends” and family members.
This case is going nowhere; it doesn’t sound like they have a case. It sounds like they’re trying to use Bonds’s less than likable persona as a hammer to toss a load of garbage into a pile and, in some potluck mishmash, make it palatable.
But it’s not.
Don’t they have other things to do?
And he’s going to get acquitted.
- Buck’s blasts of Force Lightning:
In an interview in Men’s Journal (yet to be published and discussed here on NorthJersey.com by Bob Klapisch), Showalter said of Jeter: “Well, he’s always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets – and yes, he [ticks] me off.”
Of Epstein: “I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll,” he said. “You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?’ ”
Derek Jeter has long angered opponents by maintaining that aboveboard veneer while simultaneously doing anything and everything to beat them on the field; underneath that mask of class lies a vicious cobra who’ll do whatever he can to win a game—there’s nothing wrong with that, but Showalter’s not wrong in his statement either; inside baseball people know this, but few people are willing to fight the losing battle of taking on Jeter.
The 800-pound gorilla with Theo Epstein has always been what he’d do if he didn’t have access to a lot of money to spend his way out of mistakes.
The Red Sox have conveniently tossed money around when necessary; this practice is evidenced by their activities in 2007 and this past winter; conveniently, both spending sprees occurred after missed playoff seasons and placated an agitated and somewhat spoiled fan base.
Epstein and Brian Cashman are smart enough to cobble a moderately successful franchise within payroll constraints, but it certainly has helped them to have the cash to fling at holes rather than scrimp, scramble and hit the jackpot as the Marlins and Rays have done year-after-year.
On another note from the column, Klapisch “projects” the Orioles to win 80 games.
Where he gets that number is anyone’s guess.
In the AL East with the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays, how are they getting to 80 wins? And their inter-league games include series with the Reds, Cardinals and Braves.
They’re not getting to 70; forget 80.
But regardless of Showalter’s bluster, this season isn’t about wins and losses for the Orioles; it’s about the continuation of the cultural shift he began during the final two months of last season; the attitude adjustment will be exacerbated by the presence of Vladimir Guerrero. It won’t translate into many more wins this season, but it’s a building block.
Showalter’s Orioles are trapped in a nightmarish division with a young and still-transitioning roster—what’s he got to lose by going for the deep strike and antagonizing the divisional powerhouses?
It’s an attention-getter, but not much more than that because he’s smart enough to know—and keep to himself—the fate of his club this season.
Not all blasts of Force Lightning are designed to destroy their opponents in the first strike; occasionally they’re a means to an end with the long term goal coming in the distant future.
With the Orioles, the contending future is off in the distance; but at least it’s realistic with Showalter as the manager. That’s a giant step from where they were.
I published a full excerpt of my book a week ago here.