Happy Barry Bonds Trial Day!

10 Comments

Barry Bonds’ trial begins today. It’s expected to last a two-to-four weeks. First up on the agenda is jury selection which, I assume anyway, will take up the whole day. I love jury selection in a high profile case, by the way. It’s always fun to see the folks who say they haven’t heard a thing about a case that’s been in the news for years. I’d be curious to see polling of people who live in the Northern District of California to see just how many people truly haven’t heard about the Barry Bonds case.

But that’s our system, I suppose, and there’s not much that can be done. And at least the people in the Northern District of California aren’t likely to read the Daily News that much. Because if they do, they’d learn in the first few paragraphs that Barry Bonds is staying “in plush comfort in a suite on the 16th floor of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco – the same sort of suite where U.S. Presidents stay when they visit the city by the bay,” which isn’t at all designed to make him seem imperious or anything.  And they’d also note that “he appears visibly smaller than he did during his playing days.” Unlike all of those other athletes who maintain a hardcore training regimen four years after they retire.

Not that the Daily News isn’t correct on its facts. For example, this fact seems closest to the truth about this prosecution than anything I’ve read in the past couple of years:

The government wants to make Bonds a felon, even if Illston’s history of BALCO sentencing makes it extremely unlikely that Bonds would see the inside of a prison cell.

Their motivation? Having spent millions prosecuting the landmark case, the government wants to close out the BALCO saga with a perfect streak of convictions that began with guilty pleas from the drug ring’s central conspirators and ended with the failed appeals of track cyclist Tammy Thomas, who was convicted in 2008 of crimes nearly identical to those Bonds is charged with committing: perjury and obstruction of justice.

Play ball.

Jones, Maddux, Morris consider Bonds, Clemens for Hall

USA TODAY Sports
2 Comments

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.

They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.

The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.