March 21, 2011

Bonds Back on Trial

Filed under: Major League Baseball — Giorgio Varlaro @ 11:00 pm

Supplied via Google Images

After what seems like an eternity in the sports world, former All-Star Barry Bonds went back to court today (Monday, March 21, 2011) on charges of perjury after four years and ten professional athletes convictions in federal court in connection with steroid use and distribution, or for lying to the government or grand jury.

Bonds, who is now 46 and played his last professional game in 2007, has seven defense lawyers, but only three will be representing him in court. They are Allen Ruby, Cris Arguedas and Dennis Riordan. Ruby and Arguedas have worked with high profile cases previously (Ruby represented Raiders’ Owner Al Davis and Arguedas prepared O.J. Simpson in his murder trial in relation to cross examinations) while Riordan is said to be a whiz at legal theories.

Prosecuting Bonds still is Matthew Parrella and Jeffrey Nedrow. Parrella and Nedrow, who have been on the case since the beginning, need to convince a jury that Bonds knew he was taking steroids when he used the substances former trainer Greg Anderson gave him. Anderson has served over a year in prison for declining to testify against Bonds in 2009 and is expected to be jailed for contempt of court for the duration of the trial that began today. Anderson was a key piece of the prosecutions’ case, but the absence of his testimony has weakened the government’s case because the judge has excluded some evidence which included drug test results linked to Bonds.

Both the prosecution and defense in this case understand the importance of the outcome. As stated by Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, “Too much time has been invested and the public’s expectations have been raised too high to accept anything less than a conviction.”

If Bond is convicted of perjury, would you care? Is this old news to the public who has most of their attention on relief efforts in Japan? Or is the Bonds case bigger than some might realize? Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs in Major League history. In a sport that has embraced stats more than any other league, would a conviction of Bonds lead to a decrease in baseball enthusiasts?

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