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The government would like you to know that Barry Bonds is a big jerk

Mar 17, 2011, 9:34 AM EDT

Barry Bonds

The prosecution in the Barry Bonds case wants to introduce into evidence recordings of voice mails from Bonds to his ex-girlfriend Kimberly Bell in which Bonds uses bad language and says abusive things to her.

Which is despicable. Unless the government is willing to submit that the only thing that ever causes people in romantic relationships to act like jerks to one another is steroids, than these recordings have no place in the case whatsoever. Any of you who have been in a relationship, however, know better.

There is no mention of steroid use in the voice mails. They make no mention of Greg Anderson, baseball, BALCO, syringes, cream, clear, flaxseed oil or anything else even remotely related to this case. They are wholly irrelevant in and of themselves and cast the defendant in a bad light for the sake of casting the defendant in a bad light. Either of those things would, standing alone, cause such evidence to be inadmissible, but together make their mere submission by the prosecution patently ridiculous.

These recordings are only being offered to paint Bonds as a monster on the eve of trial and to prejudice the jury pool against him. If they’re allowed into evidence, hey, bonus, but as long as the Daily News and everyone else who has it in for Bonds can splash the salacious content, mission accomplished.

This prosecution is a joke. And a sick one at that.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 17, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    My tax dollars at work.


    • easports82 - Mar 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      Agreed. We should definitely keep up these kinds of prosecutions and reduce all other “discretionary” spending.

  2. joeflaccosunibrow - Mar 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    How can we not balance a budget?

  3. cur68 - Mar 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Look on the bright side fellas; if this gets in then Bell’s Playboy spread gets in. Bonus. Or something.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 17, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      Actually, if this gets in, what it opens the door for is Bonds’ lawyers to introduce evidence about all of the reasons why Bell and Bonds might have fought or been mad at one another.

      Which will mean that a big part of the case will be devoted to basically litigating a relationship that began seventeen years ago and ended eight years ago.

      • cur68 - Mar 17, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        Then this may as well be divorce court they’re in. I seriously cannot believe how weak this case is and how much money the state DOESN”T have that’s being spent on it. Why don’t they just go ahead and charge Bonds under the Mann Act a la Jack Johnson or something and stop screwing around about this being anything other than character assassination?

      • wendythurm - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        If Judge Illston admits the voicemail messages into evidence, the Bonds team will have reversible issue #1 for appeal to the Ninth Circuit. That court has shown strong disdain for the government’s case already (when it affirmed Judge Illston’s decision to exclude the Greg Anderson logs without Anderson’s testimony)

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Have you ever stopped to think that the Bonds prosecution may be the lower 48’s answer to the fur seal pup hunt?

  4. mdpickles - Mar 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Need to find a money line on guilty/not guilty. Prosecution is throwing a flat fastball down the middle, and Bonds and Co. will hit it out of the park.

  5. BC - Mar 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Unless the ex-girlfriend is going after him for assault, domestic violence or threatening behavior, this has no relevance to the case. People in relationships have fights and break up. I had plenty of verbal sparring with my ex wife and I never took a steriod in my life (unless a cortisone shot counts). This has no relevance.
    Can they stop wasting time and taxpayer money on this already?

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      I had some horrible fights with my ex-wife. Or, rather, she had them with me. There’s a wall in our old kitchen somewhere on Lon Gisland with a pattern of dents in it where the pots and pans she threw at me impacted. And you realize that it was nothing short of miraculous based on that pattern that not a one of them actually hit me considering that I was standing in front of it. It may well be that she was the weak and I was the evil man, but I’m trying, BC, I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.

      • cur68 - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        Gator; Sounds like you got good reflexes. Maybe you should audition for middle infielder for the Phillies? I hear they’re a man down.

  6. henryd3rd - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    They spent all this money to tell us what we knew already. Bonds was and is a jerk; but that’s not an indictable offense. Maybe the Government’s trying to bankrupt by Bonds by having him defend himself? His legal fees, i.e, divorce, alimony, child support and trial fees must be over the top by now?

    And MLB must be loving the upcoming trial; because a lot of former and present major league players are going to be called to testify. And we get to hear from Victor Conte and maybe Silent Greg Anderson. Now that’s a stand up guy, Greg Anderson. He’s done more time for a guy who just hasn’t opened his mouth. Must be a book deal in it for him down the road?

  7. aronmantoo - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    I really didn’t need the Gov’t to tell me this, There are way more pressing things they need to be telling me

  8. luckywi - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    ” Any of you who have been in a relationship, however, know better.” Well first off, you are barking up the wrong tree here, with that one. Secondly, Craig, you think Bonds is not guilty? Just say so out front. You seem to be one of those SF Bonds appologists. Or defenders. Bet Giants fans have no longing for the Bond’s years now, do they?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      “Well first off, you are barking up the wrong tree here, with that one.”

      So it is your position that the only time couples are mean to one another is when they take steroids? Interesting.

      “Secondly, Craig, you think Bonds is not guilty?”

      I believe he lied or at least tried very hard to lie under oath. I also think that the indictment is sketchy, the grand jury questioning was horrendously sloppy and that prosecutors should be held to a higher standard than “can we put this guy in jail or not” when deciding whether to bring a prosecution. I have written extensively about this. Feel free to search the archives.

      “You seem to be one of those SF Bonds appologists. Or defenders.”

      Even the worst people deserve a defense. In fact, especially the worst people deserve a defense.

      “Bet Giants fans have no longing for the Bond’s years now, do they?”

      Did read the news stories about the World Series? The ones that described the standing ovation he got when he thew out the first pitch? You’re the one barking up the wrong tree here. Giants fans loved Bonds when he played there and still love him now. Mostly because they are able to separate the baseball player from the human being. They never asked Bonds to be a nice person. They asked him to crush baseballs. That’s what he did. Say what you want about that, but if you take issue, your issue is with the fans of the San Francisco Giants, not Barry Bonds.

      • luckywi - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Fair enough. And to be clear, I am a big supporter of the 6th amendment. I think William Kunstler is one of the great Americans. And he may well have taken on this case. And the death of Abby Hoffman was caused by the feds. I let it get personal. In my opinion, Barry Bonds is a fraud. He has lied, over and over again. And I love the idea that Mark Eko(sp?) bought the ball, made Barry mad, and branded it with an asterisk. So, the arguments against prosecution, are valid, but I like anything that drag’s him through the mud. And that Anderson, willing to sit in jail thing, really pisses me off. He could have finished this a long time a go. He has the truth. And Barry, the lies.

        And If I found out Kirby Puckett was a steroid guy, I would be disappointed, and contrite.

        Oh, and the realationship thing was a lame shot at people here not having signifigant other’s. Not that funny, I guess.

    • clydeserra - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      I think Craig has been very clear about this.

      He hasn’t apologized for Bonds, just pointed out the problems with the prosecutions case.

  9. hawkinsob - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Don’t worry Craig, the people “who have it in for Bonds” may write negative things about Mr. Bonds (a public figure) and the things he’s done, but members of the media who are his unabashed fans and supporters will rush to his defense in pieces like the one I just read. So it all evens out in the end.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      I take no issue with the writing negative thing about Bonds. I take issue with the prosecution — our government, which possess the power to put people in jail and/or put them to death — trying to pull a fast one by the rules of evidence via character evidence that every law student knows is inadmissible. And by filing a proffer of such evidence that they knew full well — even if it was barred from the trial — would make it into the public record via the newspapers, thereby prejudicing potential jurors against him.

      This isn’t about Bonds. This is about the prudent use of the government’s greatest power short of launching war. If you have no problem when they do it to Barry Bonds, don’t come crying when they do it to you or someone you love or care about.

      • luckywi - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM

        Yep. That’s why I love Abby. Of course, he was a true american, and admitted to everything he was about. Barry just says he never did any of it. And like it or not, I think the judges are ball fans.

        And about the prudent use of the governments power; was it well served prosecuting the Chicago Seven?(Chicago Ten, google it, produced by Bill Pohlad. Great movie, and you will learn a lot about the American Justice System).

      • luckywi - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        So america has gone after a crazy prosecution, to serve their own best intention’s? Shocking as well. Chicago Ten, may have paved the way for this.

      • cktai - Mar 18, 2011 at 8:11 AM

        Are you claiming that watching one documentary will make you better informed on the American Justice system then a formal education in law?

    • crpls - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      There are members of the media who like Bonds???

      Hell, the only reason Bonds is being chosen as the witch hunt is because the gov’t thought they could get away with it because “nobody likes him.”

  10. sayheykidwschamp - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Wow, what a great job by our govt. In other news, the school district for my kids just fired 30% of teachers in already crowded classrooms. But Bonds is a jerk and that is important apparently.

  11. crpls - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    ESPN: Judge won’t allow jury to hear (irrelevant) voice mails.

    • cur68 - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Damn. Another chance for Bell’s Playboy pics to be introduced into evidence just went out the window. Oh well; there’s always the interweb. Or something.

  12. luckywi - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    “I believe he lied or at least tried very hard to lie under oath.” I think they are the same thing.

    But anytome you want to watch “Chicago Ten” with me, I’m in.

  13. luckywi - Mar 17, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    “I believe he lied or at least tried very hard to lie under oath.” I’m curious about why you backed off this statement. Please explain.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:41 PM

      Having read the whole grand jury transcript, it seems clear that Bonds attempted to deceive. But for the most part — I’d say on 80% of the questions — he didn’t really have to because the prosecutor asked compound or open questions or didn’t follow up on vague answers from Bonds.

      A prepared prosecutor who took the proceeding seriously and wanted and needed to get clear answers from Bonds would have asked totally different questions. Discrete ones that required unequivocal answers. This guy didn’t do that and, as a result, Bonds rambled. For a lot of the questions he has deniability with respect to which part he was answering, when the time frame was he was referring to, etc.

      This says a lot about Bonds, but it also says a lot about the purposes of the grand jury testimony to begin with. I think it was designed to parade famous people in front of a camera as they entered the courthouse and the questions were secondary. The transcript certainly supports that.

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