Barry Bonds . . .
Bonds after his 73rd homerun
Barry Bonds . . .
For anyone seeking complete resolution to baseball's steroids era from the Barry Bonds' trial, sorry. It isn’t happening.
At least the trial is over and Bonds did not win.
After four days of jury deliberations, the home run king was convicted Wednesday of obstruction of justice, a count that essentially ruled that Bonds hindered a grand jury investigation into sports doping by lying.
Bonds isn’t expected to serve any jail time, according to legal experts as well as precedence in similar cases. Sentencing remains weeks away.
The jury was unable to reach a decision on the three counts of perjury against Bonds, who was indicted in 2007 for lying when he told a grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly used steroids.
A mistrial was ruled on those three counts, in effect ending the trial. Bonds' team says it will appeal the conviction, which could drag out this saga for months.
Such a process would be appropriate for Major League Baseball, which has been unable to shed the sentence of shame that resulted from the steroids era.
Barry Bonds was originally indicted in November 2007.
While drug testing has led to changes on the field with athleticism superseding artificially induced power, MLB remains tied to its ugly past by Bonds and other stars caught in the steroids scandal. Just last week, Manny Ramirez retired rather than face another suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Next to face the courts is Roger Clemens who, like Bonds, has been charged with lying about his steroids use. Clemens faces six counts, including one of obstruction of justice, three of making false statements and two of perjury.
When the 354-game winner's case goes to trial this summer, it will include at least two significant differences from the Bonds trial:
• Clemens' former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, has led accusations against Clemens. Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, went to jail rather than testify in Bonds' trial.
• Clemens has denied using steroids since accusations first surfaced. Bonds denied that he knowingly used the drugs.
Such semantics will not help Bonds when he becomes eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. His already-slim chances weren’t helped by Wednesday's verdict.
No matter what the courts ruled, Bonds was not getting the support from this voter because he used performance enhancers, which is cheating. Integrity remains a guideline for induction.
To truly move past the steroids era, baseball needs these stars to show some integrity. Don't count on that happening, either.By The Baseball Page