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Quote of the Day: Joe Posnanski on the Bonds trial

Mar 21, 2011, 12:39 PM EDT

Barry Bonds suit

I’ve been ranting about the Barry Bonds trial for years now. Starting today we’ll see lots of people ranting about it.  I predict that there will be all kinds of zany things said. On one extreme we’ll hear how Barry Bonds is and should be public enemy number one. On another, I’m sure someone will say that the prosecution is a racist conspiracy or something.  I’d guess about 90% of it is going to be ugly and dumb.

Then, of course, there’s Posnanski, who pretty much nails it as always:

… on the one hand you have someone who is probably lying — and obviously we should not stand for people lying to grand juries. On the other, you have what seems an extreme use of government power and money and shaky methods to nail him for this lie. Supposedly at some point during this trial we are going to get a spurned girlfriend telling the court all about Barry Bonds’ sex life and mood swings. The whole thing feels unseemly.

And … for what? I have seen it written in numerous places that this trial will help us “get to the bottom” of the Selig Era in baseball. But, one thing that seems absolutely certain to me is that this won’t help us get to the bottom of anything.

Posnanski says that he hates that the case is happening and that he doesn’t want either side to win. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see the defense win, but it’s not because of who the defendant is. I agree: screw Bonds, generally speaking.  My rooting interest in the defense is detached from Bonds personally. It’s more about rooting that the prosecution loses as penalty for their own trespasses and overreach.

Anyway, great stuff as always from Posnanski.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Mar 21, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Just imagine if we could get people so motivated as the prosecution in this case to focus their energy on, oh I don’t know, the environment, charitable works, law and policy making…….heavens forbid.

    • Travis Reitsma - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      Or how about bringing more deserving people to trail like the litany of American Presidents and their administrations who’ve committed countless war crimes, or the thieves on Wall St. who’ve made a lot of our lives hell.

      • heyblueyoustink - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        Whoa, that’s some pretty heavy cream there buddy…..K.I.S.S……

      • Travis Reitsma - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        lol, it just needed to be said.

    • heyblueyoustink - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      Who thumbs downed this, members of the People’s Republic of China Consulate?

  2. spudchukar - Mar 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Craig, I can only say; my sentiments exactly!

  3. skerney - Mar 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Bonds is a jerk. Gov’t is wasting it’s/ our time. No matter who wins, (likely Bonds) nothing will change or be fixed.

  4. SmackSaw - Mar 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Baseball was much more fun when the players were juiced.

    • paperlions - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      Baseball was more fun when we didn’t know they were juicing.

  5. Jack Marshall - Mar 21, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    As of now, Barry Bonds stands as smug support for the proposition that you can cheat, lie, make yourself rich and famous and do great harm to your sport and its legacy in the process, with no significant negative consequences whatsoever. I think it is worth a government prosecution to disturb that status quo.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Except the prosecution of Bonds will do nothing to disturb the status quo of people lying and cheating their way to wealth, which happens as a matter of course in our country. And if you believe that the aim of the criminal justice system should be to upset that, you’re arguing for an extremely radical realignment of Anglo-American jurisprudence.

      • Old Gator - Mar 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        You mean….regime change?!?

    • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      Apparently Bonds’ biggest mistake was going into baseball and not Wall Street.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    As an American who someday, somewhere might be accused of some crime by someone, I have to hope and pray that the Prosecution loses this one. If convictions can be had with the feeble load of crap they are throwing out there, concepts like Liberty and Freedom and Due Process are in jeopardy.

    And what is gained? A retired athlete will pay a fine? A fine far less than the government expenditure to impose that fine. He won’t play baseball anymore? Done. He will be vilified by the American public? Done, though this case will likely earn him some sympathy.

    How many Japanese families could we help to relocate with those prosecution dollars? How many teachers could SF county hire? How many soup kitchen meals could be bought? How many dangerous criminals could be prosecuted instead?

  7. bigharold - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    This isn’t about baseball, steroids, Bonds or “fixing” anything. It’s about whether somebody knowingly lied to a grand jury. If he did he should be prosecuted, .. end of story. Even id that prosecution is unsuccessful and especially if it’s difficult. If one allows Bonds to walk because it he has the resources to essentially out last the government that merely reinforces the well known perception that the just system favors the rich, .. which it certainly does.

    Craig, I’m amazed that a lawyer, such as yourself, would say “It’s more about rooting that the prosecution loses as penalty for their own trespasses and overreach.” Really, exactly when did you start to think that it was OK to lie to grand juries under certain circumstances? I always thought that lawyers would be more concerned with the rule of law. This entire prosecution should be based on did he lie, and therefore break the law, and can it be proved. To a very real extent this is about protecting the grand jury system and defending perjury laws. It not about Barry Bonds or steroids. The notion that the governments resources could be better spent is flat wrong or wrongheaded. It’s about the law and holding everybody to the same standard.

    Barry Bonds shouldn’t be prosecuted merely for being Barry Bonds but nor should he be allowed to walk because he Barry Bonds either. Because he has the resources to mount a formidable defense shouldn’t be a reason to not proceed against him, in fact it would seem to be the opposite. Otherwise what conclusion would the “average” guy draw? The idea that the prosecution deserves to lose because they over reached is, to me at least, a poor opinion not a legal guideline or precedent. It comes down to is did he lie and can it be proved.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      “Craig, I’m amazed that a lawyer, such as yourself, would say “It’s more about rooting that the prosecution loses as penalty for their own trespasses and overreach.” Really, exactly when did you start to think that it was OK to lie to grand juries under certain circumstances?”

      I don’t think it’s OK to lie to a grand jury. But it is entirely possible to do far more damage to the integrity of the criminal justice system via abuses of prosecutorial discretion than an isolated incident of perjury. I believe that is the case here.

      And please don’t take this personally because it a general point, not one directed at you: people who believe that prosecutors go after all violations of law or that they even should do so are extremely ignorant of how prosecutors do their business. Decisions are made at every step in every case and many egregious wrongs go unprosecuted. Often because the resources to assign investigators to a case, do the legwork, hire experts, pursue lengthy appeals of preliminary rulings, etc. is lacking.

      But they weren’t lacking in the case of Barry Bonds. A case involving simple perjury in an overall investigation that had an overriding small-p political motivation. This bothers me. Greatly.

      • clydeserra - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        A simple perjury that is based on horrible questions is not such a simple perjruy.

        People lie in court everyday. People tell bits of the truth. Virtually no one is prosecuted for perjury.

        In this case, if you read the transcripts, the questions to Bonds were compound and vague. Any answer given could be defended. That is the biggest legal problem with the case.

      • cur68 - Mar 21, 2011 at 9:46 PM

        My daughter, when she was six, could do exactly what Barry did under grand jury questioning; answer PART of the long winded, rambling question, prevaricate a bit and hope the questioner fell asleep while she hemmed & hawed. If anybody ought to be being punished it’s the yahoos who botched this in the first place. They are trying to nail Bonds for what they let him get away with.

  8. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Craig, I think a Scotch vedict would be most appropriate.

  9. baboushka - Mar 21, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    You all do realize that if this case is ever appealed to the US Supreme Court, It will be judged by 3 justices who lied under oath to get on the court (perjury). The most infamous was Clarence Thomas, who lied about his entire sordid conduct with Anita Hill. The Senate refused to hear eye witnesses who corraborated Hill’s testimony. The other two known perjurers were Roberts and Alito regarding cases they judged. My point is this. If we’re not going to impeach liars and perjurors on the bench and in the political process. Why are we wasting the public’s money on this meaningless trial of someone who only hurt himself? And in a game that is meaningless to many. If the nation is really “broke”, it needs to flush every single meaningless exercise like a Baseball trial. This entire episode is vindictive and stupid. And I’m not even a Barry Bonds fan. In fact, I’m far from it. This is just about vendetta, by our government.

  10. bigdicktater - Mar 21, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Speaking of Clarence Thomas. I recently saw a report stating that, in all the years he’s been a member of the Supreme Court, he has not asked one question. What’s up with that?

  11. baboushka - Mar 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    There was a famous book written about people like Clarence Thomas. It’s named “The Spook Who Sat By The Door”. Maybe Thomas was put on that court specifically to shut up and not ask anything. Just collect the check. Do the bidding of his masters. And don’t make a single ripple in the pond of advocacy jurisprudence. He is completely despised in the African American community for being such an abomination of the legacy of Thurgood Marshall. Needless to say he is a monument to doing nothing helpful in the plight of fairness for human beings. For global corporations, He, Scalia, Roberts and Alito are like paid consultants on the highest bench in the land (pun intended). Thomas is not a dumb man even though he seems to relish appearing as such. He is just a very corrupt and immoral one. Our government is completely wasting its time IMHO and the public’s treasury by pursuing such a frivolous case over a “Game”. Especially after MLB itself indirectly condoned steroid and HGH use along with corked bats and juiced up balls to produce more scoring during that era. This trial is a joke and farce! All of those players (Bonds, MacGuire, Clemens et al) should be left alone. And let baseball itself decide how it wants to move forward. If the government was serious, it would start investigating all of the HGH, steroids and other dangerous substances meat, poultry and vegetable producers are pumping into legally everyday in the food supply chain. Now that would be something to really investigate if they cared!

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