In light of the Barry Bonds trial going to the jury as early as today, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News has a concern:
Question: If the verdict is not guilty on all charges and Bonds wants to celebrate by making the short trip to AT&T Park for some baseball viewing, what happens? … Even more problematic: What if Bonds is found guilty of perjury and still wants to show up at a Giants home game a few hours later?
Considering that Pete Rose routinely takes in Reds games at the best seat in the park — and where he is always given a standing ovation when he is shown on the big scoreboard screen, which he invariably is — I fail to see the problem. Being found guilty or heck, even not guilty of perjury charges doesn’t make one ineligible to buy a ticket to a ballgame. And, unless Major League Baseball bans Bonds as a result — which it almost certainly won’t do — nothing could stop Bonds from even suiting up for the A’s to DH or taking a job as the Assistant VP in charge of testicular atrophy policy for any major league team.
But Purdy goes on, noting that a Giants’ attorney has been watching the Bonds trial, and there he has heard the grand jury testimony in which Bonds disparaged Giants team employees. Here’s Purdy again:
None of those facts was contested. None of that testimony was denied by Bonds or anyone else. So tell me again: This is the man you want throwing out a ceremonial first pitch? Don’t think so. Not at my old-timers celebration.
Fact: the testimony Purdy is referring to took place in 2003, was widely reported on and has been public now for several years, as have the Kimberly Bell allegations he mentions, by virtue of her multiple interviews over the years. Fact: despite knowing this, Bonds threw out the first pitch at the NLCS last year and was met with a standing ovation. He has also been the guest at games of the Giants owners on multiple occasions. If the Giants were cool with Bonds’ testimony for purposes of the playoffs last fall, I fail to see how they wouldn’t be cool with it now for an old-timers celebration.
Purdy acknowledges all of this later in the column, and he also acknowledges the Reds/Pete Rose thing. What I don’t understand is how he can do that and still take his “what ever will we do?!” stance. He’s demanding a solution to something that no one besides him thinks is a problem.
Like Pete Rose, Bonds may be a national pariah. But he’s not a local one, and the Giants of all teams — who are playing in a ballpark that likely wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Bonds — shouldn’t make him into one.