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Troubles mount for Bonds

Federal indictment might stir Selig to suspend slugger

Posted: Friday April 14, 2006 12:21PM; Updated: Friday April 14, 2006 12:56PM
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Fans, media and now the federal government are on Barry Bonds' case this season.
Fans, media and now the federal government are on Barry Bonds' case this season.
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We come here to the E-Bag to chew over fielding percentages and talk trades, to lament teams gone bad and praise ones on the rise.

And, of course, to take sides on Barry Bonds.

(Ha! Thought you might slip past without paying the toll? No way, bub.)

The latest on Bonds -- besides those hundreds of e-mails I received, a few of which are featured at the bottom of this E-Bag -- is that the feds have convened a grand jury to consider perjury charges against him. This is all based on Bonds' testimony before the BALCO grand jury in 2003.

Bonds, according to the leaked grand jury testimony in that case, denied knowingly using steroids. Yes, he says he took some stuff (flaxseed oil?) and maybe rubbed some other stuff on ("Whatever"), but he insists he never consciously took a steroid or performance-enhancing drug. Believe what you will.

If this most recent grand jury indicts Bonds on perjury charges, a conviction will follow only if the feds can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Bonds knew what he was doing and taking. Can the feds prove that, through documents seized at BALCO, through testimony from former trainer and buddy Greg Anderson or BALCO head Victor Conte, through audio tapes or testimony gathered from his former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell? Can they prove it by other means? Well, that's what a grand jury's all about. We'll find out.

What if charges are brought? What if he's convicted? What does that mean to Bonds? To Major League Baseball? What does it mean to the future of the E-Bag?

More of the same, I'm afraid. Needless to say -- but you know I'm going to say it anyway -- if this thing progresses to charges being brought, or an actual conviction, Bonds' place in baseball and his place in the record books are both in humongous peril. Even if charges are not brought, Bonds may be in for something more than a strong scolding by the commissioner of baseball.

My point (debate among yourselves, or e-mail me):

A player with a close association with a convicted felon (Anderson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids), one who may be brought up on perjury charges, simply is not good for baseball, no matter how many home runs he hits. Even if it means a throwdown with the players' union and Bonds' lawyers, Bud Selig might have to start thinking about suspending Bonds.

Don't think that's a possibility? "I am very troubled by the alleged depth of the relationship between certain players and those involved in the illegal distribution of performance-enhancing substances," Selig said in announcing baseball's investigation into the steroids scandal.

Who do you think he's talking about?

Well, let's jump into some non-Bonds topics, shall we? Again, if you can't get enough of everything Bonds, plenty of e-mails are at the bottom of the E-Bag.

And if you still can't get enough, seek help. Please.

On we go ...