Foul Balls: New Disclosures Strengthen Criminal Cases Against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens

180px-barrylamar_bonds200px-roger_clemens_2004There have been major develop- ments in the cases of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens that could spell serious problems for both former major league players in the ongoing controversy over steroid use.

A federal judge reportedly plans to unseal hundreds of pages of court documents, including a urine sample from Bonds in 2003 that tested positive for performance-enhancing substances. The sample had been retested by the UCLA Olympic laboratory, which found traces of THG, a substance that was previously undetectable under the major league’s testing system.

Bond, the seven-time NL MVP, is accused of lying before a grand jury on his use of such drugs and is expected to plead not guilty to a third indictment from the grand jury on perjury and obstruction of justice.
This will set up a major pre-trial fight over motions to exclude evidence by the defense.

Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens is in equal jeopardy after the Washington Post reported that tests have tied his earlier DNA sample to the blood in syringes handed over to investigators by his former personal trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee testified that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and HGH from 1998-2001.

The disclosure shows the strength of the case for an indictment of Clemens for false testimony before Congress. The case is now before a federal grand jury in Washington to decide whether to indict Clemens.

Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, insists that the DNA testing “won’t matter at all.” Hardin indicated that he will claim that the evidence was a concoction by McNamee, stating “It will still be evidence fabricated by McNamee. I would be dumbfounded if any responsible person ever found this to be reliable or credible evidence in any way.” Hmmm, I am not so sure that a jury would so easily dismiss such evidence.

It now looks that we are likely to see both a Bonds and Clemens trial in 2009-2010. The cases are examples of how celebrities and politicians are more indicted over their reaction to scandals rather than the original allegations themselves.

For Clemens, the case is an example of the perils of testifying in Congress without immunity. Had he not testified, it is unlikely that he would have faced criminal charges over the scandal. Likewise, Bonds has been indicted for his effort to talk his way out of this mess rather than rely on the fifth amendment privilege. For celebrities, it is a difficult choice. To plead the fifth would have shredded their reputations, but they may now have lost their liberty in an effort to protect their names.

For the Clemens story, click here.

For the Bonds story, click here.

12 thoughts on “Foul Balls: New Disclosures Strengthen Criminal Cases Against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens”

  1. Just as we predicted here some time ago, most of Clemens’ case defamation case against McNamee was tossed by US District Court Judge Keith Ellison on the grounds that McNamee’s comments in the Mitchell Report were entitled to qualified immunity even assuming arguendo they were false. All that remains are allegations that McNamee told Clemens’ BFF Andy Pettitte that Clemens had used HGH and steroids in the past. Rusty Hardin -now my favorite TV lawyer with bad hair replacing Blago– was defeated but never chastened saying he was he was “pleased with Ellison’s ruling on McNamee’s statements to Pettitte.” Sort of like passengers praising the opportunity to take in the fresh night air as the Titanic sinks.

    Here’s the link:

    http://sports.excite.com/news/02122009/v6621.html

  2. Mike:

    I agree with you. The lords of baseball looked the other way and fostered the idea of a “juiced” baseball to distract us –of course it was the payers who were “juiced.”. Everybody knew what was going on and just kept counting the money. “Red juice” liquid amphetamines were around when I played college football, and it was overwhelming in the Majors for years among pitchers. It’s too long a season and too much wear and tear on the human body, but we push these athletes harder and harder in some insatiable desire to be entertained. The athletes are no angels either as the sold their bodies to hit one more ball over a fence, or pitch another shutout. Who’s to blame–everyone.

  3. Claude Rain’s “shocked” discovery of gambling in Humphrey Bogart’s back room keeps coming to mind when I read of the haste to pillory Clemens, Bonds and other steroid users. Willie Mays talked of taking “greenies” (amphetamines) in the locker room. JFK was injected with it. Amphetamine’s were regularly given out, as were other stimulants and painkiller’s, in NFL locker rooms by team physicians and trainer’s from the 50’s on. Cheating people might say, but that too is a version of being “shocked.” Before instant replay became official how many of us would gleefully watch a wrong decision aid our team and think nothing of it. In 1986 Mookie Wilson of the Mets obviously ran out of the baseline on a crucial play that ultimately led to the Mets championship. As a Mets fan I reveled in their win.

    The use of amphetamine’s, painkiller’s, etc. to enhance and/or allow performance has always been rampant in pro sports. When the dollar is involved sportsmanship and ethical considerations always are forgotten. Bonds, although reportedly a nasty guy, was a Hall of Fame player before he is even alleged to have taken steroids and the same is true of Clemens.

    As someone whose former hobby was baseball statistics there is an occasional twinge as previously longstanding records are destroyed. However, tinkering with the game that hyped statistics has also always been there. It was not coincidence that originally “The House That Ruth Built” had a right field foul line of 296 feet and was four feet high, both anomaly’s for their era. Babe was a lefty. Mound heights, fence heights and depths, and rules changes have clearly shown that baseball records looked at as standardized are affected by MLB’s actions through different eras. The same is true in NFL rule changes put in to deliberately hype popular aspects and not really for player safety. The NFL has always had small regard for player safety as compared with owner profit.

    I’m not saying that sports fans should turn to supporting amateur sports, which in their way are just as phony. My point is that despite the hype there is nothing honorable about human sport. That even goes to the pickup softball games I played into my forties. Sports are defined by winning and to me that’s fine. Loved the Super Bowl this year. Even though Arizona got there with a poor record made possible by scheduling that is revised year to year to allow for movement of teams up and down. What annoys me is the hypocrisy and mythology that goes with it. We can’t even get Rove to testify before Congress and yet we are out for Clemens & Bond’s blood for perjury. Nonsense.

  4. And on topic:

    Barry Bonds sucks. His name should be legally changed to “Asterisk”.

  5. mespo,

    Copy that. Notice the shift in focus too. He can’t win by any of the tactics he’s recently tried. Bad news is he’s not going to pull anyone into the trap of intellectual vanity either. The floundering of tactics that was amusing is rapidly becoming just pathetic. He’s working for his dollar I’ll concede, but he tries to make up in quantity what he lacks in quality. Must be from Texas. Hey! Maybe we’ve stumbled across ‘Berto’s new job? It’s a fit. Bad methodology, poor reasoning, inaccurate citation, a fundamental inability to grasp core concepts, slavish devotion . . . tell me that doesn’t sound like our perpetually unemployed former AG?

  6. bron98:

    Your every off-topic post is testament to the disdain those of us who enjoy the blog have for you.

  7. “I would be dumbfounded if any responsible person ever found this to be reliable or credible evidence in any way.”

    –Rusty Hardin

    Rusty seems easily dumbfounded.

  8. Good article for you collectivists to consider.

    From Human Events by Dr. Arthur Robinson

    A hidden effect of the November 4 elections and the national events that preceded them during this past year is perhaps best called the “John Galt Effect” in honor of Ayn Rand’s famous character in Atlas Shrugged. It is occurring to a very significant extent.

    Our technological civilization stands upon the shoulders of many generations of free Americans and the great accomplishments that they bequeathed to us. Among those Americans and their counterparts in other countries have been a small special group of people whose unusual genius, work ethic, and love for their specialties were especially outstanding. These men, by their examples, their creations, and their leadership of free enterprises, have led our civilization upward. One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to know a few such people.

    Without this small group of people, the technological attainments of their generations would not have taken place. We know the names of a few of them, but there were many more — constituting perhaps one person in a thousand. Ayn Rand called these people the “men of the mind.” In Atlas Shrugged, under the leadership of John Galt, they withdrew their services. They would only work in freedom. They would not work under tyranny.

    In reality, most men of the mind never withdraw. They love their work too much to stop and — most of them — love their fellow men too much to desert them. The forces of tyranny depend upon this. Without these people, even the small technological advances required by Marxist and Socialist societies would not occur. Yet, while the men of the mind do not fully withdraw, they have families and other loved ones for whom they are responsible and to whom they are more devoted than to the state.

    As the pendulum of politics now swings toward tyranny in the United States and dangers to those whom they love increase, these men and women partially turn their talents more toward their personal responsibilities. Part of their thoughts, efforts, and ingenuity are lost to society — and this loss cannot be recovered by either negative or positive incentives.

    Throughout our country today, the men of the mind ( women, too) are watching the awful scene in Washington and its reflection in state and local capitals throughout the United States. They understand the consequences of the government oppression that has dogged their own footsteps for many years and that will grow much worse in the near future. So, they are taking actions to protect themselves and their families.

    We have no way to measure the societal effects of this distraction of the men of the mind. There are immediate effects upon our well being and long term effects from the things that they are no longer working full time to create.

    What is the cost of the distraction of our real leaders — of the men of the mind — of the John Galts among us? I estimate that it is greater than the trillions of dollars being lost on government printing presses. Call this Y2009K — and this time it is very real.

    Our existing power plants are still operating; our petrochemical plants are still producing; our military defense is still performing; our food supplies are still flowing; and the rest of the technological infrastructure upon which our lives depend is largely still in place. But the key people — not those we see but those we do not see because they are constantly engaged in real work — are seriously distracted and now partially engaged in personal survival.

    Of one thing we can be certain. When the essentials of our civilization begin to seriously falter and this causes real harm, those who would be our masters and their fellow travelers in the media, academia, business, and politics will cast blame upon some of these men of the mind — and drag them before us for punishment. Our John Galts know this, too, and it is a further distraction for them.

    Some of these people are leading great enterprises. Others are in the basements of our power plants and other heavy industries. Some are closeted away in universities quietly at work on the next generations of possible advances in science and engineering. They are easily recognized — by their genius and by the love of their work that permeates their whole beings.

    One way to recognize them is that they constantly talk about their work to anyone who will listen.

    Now they are distracted.

    What are they talking about today?

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