Friday, November 16, 2007

The Least of Barry Bonds' Concerns Now is an Asterisk

Barry Bonds' baseball career is likely over now that the federal government has indicted him on four charges of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.'s Gene Wojciechowski probably put it best and most succinctly: "Essentially, Bonds perpetrated a fraud." After a thorough investigation, the government concluded that Bonds knowingly took steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs and lied about his actions to a federal grand jury that was investigating BALCO. Bonds potentially faces up to 30 years in prison but ESPN's legal analyst Lester Munson explains that if Bonds is convicted he will likely receive a one to two year sentence.

As I wrote after Bonds' last game this season, "It did not have to end this way--and Barry Bonds has no one but himself to blame that it did." That is actually true in two ways. One, Bonds has so much natural ability that he could have easily been a Hall of Famer without breaking the law (yes, folks, even if MLB's steroids rules are fairly recent, the use of performance-enhancing drugs without a prescription has been illegal for quite some time). Two, the federal government offered to give Bonds immunity from prosecution from any drug use that he might have engaged in as long as he agreed to testify truthfully. Instead, Bonds, like Marion Jones, chose to lie. Now, like Jones, he will have to pay the price for years of criminal activity and deception.

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