As The NY Times reports:
"The charges stem from his Dec. 4, 2003, testimony to a federal grand
jury. He denied knowingly taking steroids...The United States attorney’s office
for the Northern District of California has been investigating whether Mr. Bonds
perjured himself in December 2003 when he told a grand jury in San Francisco
that he did not knowingly use performance enhancing drugs, despite drastic
changes to his physique and documents with his name on them from 2001 to 2003 showing drug schedules."
After these 4 years, and likely a huge amount of money spent on gathering evidence, chasing down witnesses and holding grand jury proceedings twice, they finally "got" him.
It really didn't surprise me that they waited this long. It was in some regards a better way to destroy the man, after setting the record, than say, stopping him from it before hand. For those that may disagree, it would have been seen as an isolated one case, one instance, of wrongdoing because it so happen that Bonds was about to break baseball's most hallowed record. By allowing him to break it (and not besmirching baseball mid-season), the prosecution now can proceed forward vigorously knowing out of sight, out of mind. And more importantly, how people feel about Bonds - dislike is only one word to describe - and how he will not be a sympathetic defendant.
One thing is for certain, Bonds will be considered for the "unforgivable list" of athletes that in some way made a dark stain on their chosen sport.
For myself, and not being a rooter for the Giants or in anyway enamored with Bonds, I do feel some sympathy for him. I know this was a planned attack on his singular achievement. So much so, that even our current President decided to make a statement via a spokesman about this, just an hour after it was handed down:
"The president is very disappointed to hear this," Bush spokesman Tony
Fratto said. "As this case is now in the criminal justice system, we will
refrain from any further specific comments about it. But clearly this is a sad
day for baseball."
Funny, this is coming from the former managing partner of the Texas Rangers (Bush) that traded for patient zero, Jose Canseco, whose usage of Performance Enhancers has been well known since the late 1980's. And the General Manager of Jose's initial team (A's): Sandy Alderson, now works for Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball. Plenty of connections - and plenty of high ranking men in baseball that buried their head in the sand for years. (To the increase of revenues in the baseball from $2 billion in 1995 to $6 Billion this past year.)
Bonds is a victim of his own greed and place in history. He felt his pay was tied to hitting dingers into McCovey Cove - and it was - and his legacy as a baseball player was tied to his putting up outlandish numbers - and it probably was.
Do I feel Steroids alone did this for him? No, not exactly in the way people perceive it to be. Maybe it is more due to recovery from aches and pains, not gaining untold (and unmeasured, I might add) strength to crush that "bee ball" out of the yard.
It is my contention that the baseball, itself, was doctored up by 1994 to produce the ERA of extra base hits (doubles specifically), not just the jacks that sail mightily over the fence into new and improved dining areas of these ballyards.
IF Bonds is unforgivable...
Then baseball is unforgivable..TOO.
Other stories: ESPN report