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
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.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.