Barry Bonds lawyers filed a 60-page brief yesterday, appealing his obstruction of justice conviction. The heart of it is basically something we’ve noted here all along: that it’s pretty weird to convict someone for not answering a question when they actually, you know, answered the question:
“Any competent English speaker would understand Mr. Bonds’s initial statement as answering the question in the negative,” Riordan wrote. “Mr. Bonds was no more guilty of obstruction than he would have been if, having answered one prosecutorial question, he chatted with grand jurors about the weather while the prosecutor was formulating his next one.”
Riordan further argued that the prosecutors questioning Bonds before the grand jury had a “legal obligation to clarify unresponsive testimony.” Riordan contends the prosecutors should have repeated the question until Bonds answered directly.
And he’s absolutely right about that duty-of-prosecutors to clarify thing by the way. But even if he isn’t, it’s worth noting that Bonds did actually answer the question that the prosecutors and the jury somehow concluded (at least temporarily) that he did not answer:
That “no” at the end responds to the very question the indictment against Bonds and the subsequent conviction says he didn’t answer. I tend to think it was a lie, but the jury didn’t, so that’s neither here nor there.
But hey, details. Bonds was a dirty cheater, so we should not expect the evidence in a criminal proceeding against him to matter any.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.