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.