Barry Bonds Might Not Have Done Anything Wrong, World Covers Its Ears and Hums Loudly

I stumbled upon this bit of news from Yahoo! Sports’ Jonathan Littman last Wednesday, the day it broke. After reading the column, I would have bet my considerable fortune that this would be pasted all over ESPN and other major networks for days, since traditionally that is what happens when any bit of news regarding Barry Bonds breaks. I was disappointed, however, to see the days pass with no mention of this revelation.

If you opted not to click the link, I will be charitable and summarize the column for you, even though you really need to read it for yourself. It has been revealed that the main drug Bonds has been accused of using – THG or “The Clear” – was neither categorized as illegal by the Justice Department nor banned by Major League Baseball when he testified in front of a federal grand jury. Read that again. The centerpiece of the case against Bonds, the entire premise of the perjury charges against him, the reason sportswriters and baby-boomers of all occupations have been given free reign to blast him – that central assumption no longer qualifies as true. Someone finally read the 30,000 page document and discovered that the thing Bonds took was not a steroid, and therefore not illegal or banned. And it only took $55 million dollars of taxpayers’ money for this fact to emerge.

I cannot believe this has not gotten more coverage. I searched ESPN.com for recent stories pertaining to Barry Bonds, and I have found no mention of this bit of news. It is entirely possible that I am missing something here, because the legal system has been known to confuse the heck out of me, and because I tuned out the suffocating coverage of the steroid investigation long ago. It is totally possible that one informed comment underneath this post will enlighten me and cause me to retract my outrage. I would welcome such an outcome.

But if Yahoo! Sports just recently reported this as news, it must be, well… new. Historically, new information regarding Barry Bonds’ use of steroids has led to the total Bondsification of sports coverage. If this new information supports Bonds and challenges the legitimacy of the investigation itself, you would think it would be everywhere. It has been nothing like everywhere. 

If I am missing something, I implore you to inform me of my ignorance. I implore you because the possibility that I have overlooked or misunderstood some key bit of information is the only thing preventing me from ranting like a lunatic about the unfairness, hypocrisy, inefficiency, and ineptitude of this entire saga.

I hope I am not missing something, and that Bonds is vindicated, because I would like nothing more than to watch sportswriters, analysts, and fans struggle to face the real reasons they loathe Barry Bonds.

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2 Responses to Barry Bonds Might Not Have Done Anything Wrong, World Covers Its Ears and Hums Loudly

  1. Jeremy Dahlstrom says:

    This was discussed on WSCR radio (the afternoon guys Boers and Bernstein) out of Chicago last week with the news broke. They went back and forth about whether this exonerates Bonds, but my opinion of his stays the same. It is true that if “the Clear” was not classified as an illegal substance or a steroid by the government then Bonds answering “No” to the question of whether he had used an illegal steroid should not be considered perjury. However, Bonds did knowingly take a performance enhancing substance that he was told was specifically designed to be undetectable as a performance enhancer. And why would he knowingly take something that was designed to not show up in standard drug tests unless he was intentionally trying to hide it.

    My thoughts are not based on the law in any way, as I too am often confused by it all, but this is just my opinion.

  2. Kevin says:

    I am in no way trying to be difficult here, just trying to fully understand what’s going on.

    If, as you said, Bonds did knowingly take a performance-enhancing substance that was designed to be undetectable, then how does this excerpt fit in?

    “Prosecutor: “Let me be real clear about this. Did he [Anderson] ever give you anything that you knew to be a steroid? Did he ever give you a steroid?”

    Bonds: “I don’t think Greg would do anything like that to me and jeopardize our friendship. I just don’t think he would do that.”

    Prosecutor: “Well, when you say you don’t think he would do that, to your knowledge, I mean, did you ever take any steroids that he gave you?”

    Bonds: “Not that I know of.”

    I suppose the point of the article – and the point of my original post – is that there is now enough ambiguity and doubt to possibly exonerate Bonds.

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