Barry Bonds won't stand trial until at least 2011

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UPDATE:  Everyone met today, but they couldn’t agree on a trial
date in 2010
.  They’re going to meet again on August 6th, and if a trial
is scheduled, it likely won’t take place until next year. Nothin’ like
speedy justice!

11:30 A.M.: Prosecutors and Barry Bonds will meet at federal court today in a scheduling conference for Bonds’ perjury case.  One of two things is going to come out of this: a trial date, or the dismissal of charges.

You’ll recall that the prosecutors lost their appeal on what they themselves have portrayed as critical evidence against Bonds, so if they go to trial now they won’t have it.  And from my analysis of the case over the past few years, they have basically no evidence at all that speaks to what Barry Bonds knew or did not know when he took The Cream and the Clear all those years ago.  Without that they have no case.

Prosecutors say they’ll press on, but Bonds’ lawyer tells the Daily News that he wouldn’t be surprised if they simply told the judge that they weren’t going to proceed in light of the adverse ruling on appeal.  I don’t know that I’d bet on that, but it would not at all surprise me if they eventually did so.  Oh, they may first try to throw Greg Anderson back in jail in order to testify, but they’ve done that before and it didn’t work. I don’t think the judge would be too eager to do that again anyway.

The upshot:  today might not mark the end of Barry Bonds’ legal limbo, but I think it certainly marks the beginning of the end.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.