Barry, The Government, And Baseball: What A Mess

By Tony McClean
Updated: July 21, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — We’d like to thank the U.S. Government for taking such careful time in deciding whether or not to indict one of the most 10 dangerous men on the face of the earth.

It’s good to know that while gas prices go through the roof, U.S. soldiers remain human targets in Iraq, and the Voting Rights bill is being threatened, the government has all their priorities in place.
While the economy sinks and unemployment rises, its good to know that our government is really going after the real criminals. While Osama Bin Laden is still lurking about, our government is going after a man who is a menace to us all — one Barry Lamar Bonds.
What the hell….???
When you really think about it, it appears that those legal “scholars” Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden are handling the government’s “case” against Bonds. I anxiously await to hear the term “mountain of evidence” any day now.
What the government basically has is an ex-business partner and former girlfriend’s testimony against Bonds. Surprisingly, this testimony was leaked to the media even before the indictment was handed out.
Leaked testimony in a grand jury case? That hasn’t happened since…..a few weeks ago maybe? This case has been played out in the media for all to see. And please, folks, don’t think that this is by accident.
It all started with that dog and pony show in Washington about a year ago featuring a cast of characters including Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling (because he has to be at everything!), Mark McGwire, and a suddenly less than bilingual Sammy Sosa.
If you weren’t watching closely, you would have thought that this was a comedy sketch from Chappelle’s Show (“I’m Curt Schilling, bitch!!!!). Instead it was another grandstanding show from some of our clueless politicians in the Nation’s Capital.
Inconspicuous in his absence that day was the very guy that everyone loves to hate — say it with me — BARRY LAMAR BONDS!! Now baseball commissioner Bud Selig, MLB Players’ Union head Donald Fehr, and others were there, but they were just incidental window dressing.
Now we sit a year removed from that and our government is still chasing its own tail in their “war” on steroids. After Thursday’s proceedings, just where do we stand? Will the government try to indict Bonds again? Perhaps.
If so, why didn’t they do that in the first place? Do they really have a case? And if so, why was former BALCO head Victor Conte given immunity?
Why didn’t they at least keep pursuing their “case” against ex-Diamondback pitcher Jason Grimsley?
Why? Because when you’re on a true witch hunt, little things like common sense and the truth have a nasty habit of getting in the way. Bottom line, if the government had a true case against Bonds, this would have been done long ago.
Now please let me state, I am not here to make a martyr out of Bonds. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Barry Bonds can be a 24-karat asshole at times. But last I checked, you don’t indict folks for being an asshole.
If that’s the case, I’ve got some ex-bosses and others who would be on death row right now.
Simply put, our government has so many more important things they should be tackling. The least of which is a baseball player who will be sitting at home with his kids a year from now.
No doubt, lying to a grand jury and tax evasion is definitely serious stuff. But if you’re going to try a man’s character through the media like baseball and the government has tried to do, be prepared to take some serious body blows to your own credibility as well.
One story that got lost in all of Thursday’s announcement, New York Mets minor league pitcher Timothy Haines was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance.
Considering all the minor and major leaguers (mostly pitchers, by the way) that have been suspended during Bud Selig’s new “get tough” policy, isn’t it safe to say that Barry Bonds is the least of baseball’s problem as well?
Just a thought.