[Pictured: Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, previously pictured in this blog as a cheap laugh at Barry Bonds' expense. Duncan is the giant actor of Green Mile, Daredevil, and other fine films, and looks nothing like Bonds. Our apologies to both men and their representatives.]
This morning, all that stands between home run king Barry Bonds and a Federal jail cell is … well, any credible evidence whatsoever. If there was some, boy would he be in trouble. After all this time, the Federal Government looks like a less credible accuser of Barry Bonds as a steroid user than my seven-year-old nephew. My nephew, a Dodger fan who is convinced Bonds used, saw him once in Hawaii. He stood behind Bonds at a restaurant and said “Congratulation on breaking the home run record, Mr. Bonds.” Bonds replied, “Thank you” (the gall of this guy, eh?). My nephew’s opinion remains unchanged from staring up at the Sultan, but the kid’s politeness and willingness to move the fuck on puts him one up on the Federal government.
The Judge in the Bonds currently leans toward throwing out all the positive drug tests in the case because the government cannot prove that they are Bonds’ tests. Since Bonds trainer Greg Anderson refuses to testify that Bonds used steroids, this leaves Federal prosecutors with nothing but the testimony of the Giambi Brothers. If my nephew can get the day off from school, he might be available, too. CSTB has not attempted to reach noted Bonds-hater Bob Costas, but we can imagine his heartbreak.
The San Jose Mercury News‘ Howard Mintz reports it this way:
A federal judge Thursday appeared poised to weaken the government’s perjury case against Barry Bonds, indicating that she plans to strip prosecutors of perhaps their strongest evidence that baseball’s all-time home run king lied to a grand jury about using steroids in 2003.
During a hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston indicated she will bar prosecutors from using what they say are records showing the slugger tested positive for steroids three times in 2000 and 2001. Despite prosecutors’ objections, Illston said the steroid tests were not admissible because there is no concrete link proving the urine and blood samples belonged to Bonds. Such a finding would remove a cornerstone of the government’s evidence when the case reaches trial next month.
Illston is expected to issue a final decision soon, but if she blocks use of the drug tests it would mark the strongest suggestion yet that prosecutors will be hobbled because they lack the testimony of Greg Anderson, Bonds’ former personal trainer who has steadfastly refused to cooperate and tell his account in a courtroom.
Federal prosecutors insist Anderson supplied Bonds with steroids, and that he was responsible for getting his urine and blood tested through Balco, the now-defunct Peninsula lab at the heart of the biggest sports doping scandal in history. But unless Anderson were to testify that he did so, defense lawyers have argued that there is no way to validate the steroids tests, or to ensure Bonds’ legal right to cross-examine Anderson, who would be his chief accuser in absentia.