By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
THE QUIET BOMBSHELL-BONDS FREEDOM
THE QUIET BOMBSHELL:
DROPPING THE CASE AGAINST BARRY BONDS
Gary Norris Gray-BASN Staff Reporter
Finally. On July 21, after more than a decade of prosecution, the U.S. Department of Justice decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the reversal of Barry Bonds’ conviction for obstruction of justice. But where is the happiness, where is the relief, where is the celebration after the U.S. government dropped its long campaign against Barry Bonds? Where are the cheers, the applause?
Many African American baseball fans cheered in private on July 21. Barry Lamar Bonds in the Bay Area is one of their beloved sons but outside it is a different story. African Americans are told to play fair and Mr. Bonds did not-ALLEGEDLY
The media gave almost no attention to the end of the case against Bonds, after massive amounts of coverage over the years? Is mainstream media frustrated that it too lost its case in the hounding of Bonds? Is the media silence responsible for the silence of the fans, which now do not have the case forced on them as the media had done for years?
Some reasons for the silence:
1. IT IS OLD NEWS THAT FINALLY REACHED THE RESULT OF WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE: NO CONVICTION.
Bonds’ attorneys asked the trial judge to set aside the jury decision, which was rejected. The trial judge let the jury’s decision stand on the obstruction charge, as did a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. It took an 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit on further appeal to overturn the decision in April, with the justices issuing four different opinions as to how they reached their result.
After a three-week trial, Bonds was convicted for his response to the question: “Did Greg (Anderson) ever give you anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with?”
“That’s what keeps our friendship,” Bonds replied. “I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don’t get into other people’s business because of my father’s situation, you see.”
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit unanimously upheld the conviction in 2013 but the larger group of judges ruled in April that there was insufficient evidence Bonds’ answer was material to the federal investigation into sports doping.
2. IT’S BEEN MORE THAN TEN YEARS OF INVESTIGATION AND LITIGATION. EVERYBODY IS TIRED.
Major League Baseball should have done the right thing in 1986 suspending the Oakland A’s Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. If that had happened the Barry Lamar Bonds court dates would have never seen the light of day. Commissioner Bud Selig did not do his job in 1986 and baseball is now paying the price.
3. THE CASE WAS A FLAWED PERSECUTION OF BONDS FROM THE BEGINNING. WHY SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED OR OVERJOYED WHEN IT FINALLY COLLAPSES?
4. WITHOUT THE PERSECUTION OF BONDS, STEROIDS WOULD LIKELY STILL BE A PART OF BASEBALL. BONDS BECAME THE BAD GUY ON WHICH STEROIDS WERE BLAMED. NOT MARK McGWIRE, NOT RYAN BRAUN, NOT RAFAEL PALMERIO OR SAMMY SOSA.
THE ATTENTION GIVEN TO THE BONDS CASE WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO BASEBALL THAT FORCED THE SPORT TO POLICE ITSELF.
At the 2015 All Star Game in Cincinnati three of the four alleged drug users were on the same time field 10 years after the Barry Bonds case. Nelson Cruz-Seattle Mariners, Johnny Peralta-Saint Louis Cardinals, and Ryan Braun-Milwaukee Brewers tipped their caps before the game. “THAT’S BASEBALL BEING BASEBALL”.
The suspension of Alex Rodriquez 2014-2015 for a year might have stemmed the tide of players using performing enhancing drugs. We will see.
5. THE CREDIBILITY OF BASEBALL HAS LEFT THE STATION IN 1986 AND IS SHOT NOW. THE VIEWERSHIP OF THIS YEAR’S ALL-STAR GAME WAS NEAR HISTORIC LOWS. BASEBALL HAS THE LOWEST PERCENTAGE (8) OF AFRICAN AMERICAN PLAYERS SINCE THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE SPORT’S INTEGRATION. IT CONTINUES WITH A RACIST LOGO, THE CLEVELAND INDIANS AND CHIEF WAHOO. SO THE GAME IS BROKEN, EVEN WHEN BARRY BONDS PREVAILS.
Barry Lamar Bonds is now at least no longer “a convicted felon.” That was accomplished when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed his conviction in April. That exoneration is now final with the government’s decision not to appeal. So there is now no conviction standing between him and the Hall of Fame. But will sportswriters let him in, or will they be deterred by the lingering silent stigma of “the cream and the clear?” Will sportswriters now join the federal government in dropping their case against Bonds?
No, these writers will get their revenge by not voting for number 25 in their Hall of Fame Vote because he would not talk to them during the season.
NOTE:-None of the Steroid Era players have been inducted into Cooperstown as of 2015.
Bonds response to the government’s decision was quiet: “The finality of today’s decision gives me great peace. As I have said before, this outcome is something I have long wished for. I am relieved, humbled and thankful for what this means for me and my family moving forward.”
However, Bonds has been reported as preparing a grievance against Major League Baseball AS HE SHOULD, alleging collusion in keeping him out of the game after he was indicted and while appealing his conviction. Bonds was still a highly productive player in his last season in 2007.
Do you think The New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Seattle Mariners in the American League and the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies in the National League could have used Bonds bat in the middle of their lineups in their pennant drives?
This is “BASEBALL BEING BASEBALL” in the treatment of Bonds and the hypocrisy about its league steroid policies. Barry is also being Barry filing a grievance. This proud black man, against whom baseball turned it’s back on. This home run slugger built the house that the San Francisco Giants presently play in.
So as New York Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berri stated many times “It ain’t over till it’s over”, for Barry Bonds with his grievance may be the case. Barry will not bow down, and he will fight back. He doesn’t let things go quietly.
We must understand the way Barry Lamar Bonds grew up watching his dad play the game that he loved in San Francisco and Chicago. Then get slandered by the same local sports news media that covered the team. This created mistrust and anger toward the sports media and young Barry Bonds vowed never to be a pawn of the American Sports media. He has lived up to his word.
A jury in 2011 found the former San Francisco Giants star guilty of obstruction of justice for giving a meandering answer to a federal grand jury in 2003, twelve years ago, when he was asked whether his personal trainer gave him anything that required a syringe for self-injection. The jury had deadlocked on three other counts accusing Bonds of making false statements when he denied receiving steroids or other substances requiring syringe injection from the trainer Greg Anderson.
Thus, the government had not proved its allegations that Bonds had lied, and the government subsequently dismissed those counts. So Bonds was never convicted either of actually taking performance enhancing drugs, or lying about it. His conviction was for one rambling answer, that the Ninth Circuit finally concluded was not obstruction, because he had in fact answered similar questions elsewhere in his testimony. Whether those answers were truthful, the jury couldn’t decide, and the government abandoned that question.
After the 2011 conviction, Bonds was sentenced to 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service in youth-related activities and a $4,000 fine. Bonds served the home confinement before his conviction was overturned. Bonds cannot get back that time, money, or the money spent on his defense, or the years out of his life, and the years out of baseball. The collusion grievance would seek to get back some compensation, in money damages.
Mr. Bonds surpassed the home run record of 755 that Hank Aaron set from 1954-76. Bonds’ career ended in the 2007 with 762 homers, 72 home runs in one season, 2,558 walks, 668 intentional walks, 444 on base percentage, and 1,996 RBI’s. If Bonds had played 2 or 3 more years he would have garnered all of baseball’s offense records.
He has prevailed against the federal government, a victory after many innings. His fight against baseball continues, even against the silence of fans and the sports media.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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