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.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.