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Bonds Trial Update: What’s an orchidometer?

Mar 25, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT


If you haven’t come up with a good name for fantasy team yet, it may be helpful for you to know what an orchidometer is.  According to testimony in the Barry Bonds trial yesterday, it’s a medical instrument used to measure testicles. Yes, that’s a picture of one.

You’re welcome.

The existence of orchidometers was explained to the jury by Larry Bowers of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency as a means of creating a medical foundation for Kimberly Bell — Bonds’ ex-girlfriend — who will testify next week about Bonds’ alleged shriveling berries. I would not be at all shocked if Bell was handed one of these things on the stand next week. It could very well be the “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” moment of the Bonds trial.  Or at least I’m hoping against hope it is because that post and three dozen others afterwards would write themselves.

Anyway, Bowers explained other steroids side effects too in anticipation of hat size and shoe size testimony. Not that he was unscathed on these topics: under cross examination he admitted that there really are hardly any controlled scientific studies of these things — doctors have ethical problems with doping otherwise healthy people to find out the side effects — but that tests on baboons and anecdotal evidence of East German athletes bear it out. Oh, and of course we have a good decade’s worth of “just look at the size of his head!” baloney from sportswriters pretending that they know the first thing about performance enhancing drugs.

I still don’t understand why Bonds’ lawyers didn’t — on Day One — say “yes, Barry Bonds took steroids. He was unaware of it at the time, but by the time the BALCO investigation made the news, he got a clue.”  Doing so would be wholly consistent with his grand jury testimony as I read it. It would also preempt and make irrelevant all of this talk of his hat size, shoe size and — most importantly — his testicles.  It just seems to me that if the defense is trying to make the case that no, Barry Bonds didn’t ever take steroids, they’re going lose on that point. I read “Game of Shadows.” To deny that Bonds took steroids is to live in fantasy land. They should keep this a case about lying under oath, not drug use.

But then again, if they did that, we wouldn’t have learned what an orchidometer is. And now that I have that knowledge, I really don’t want to go back to a world in which I didn’t.

  1. mckludge - Mar 25, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    Given the physical appearance of an orchid, you’d think an orchidometer would be used to measure the size of a certain part of the female anatomy.

    • heyblueyoustink - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:02 AM

      the ego?

    • monsieurbear - Mar 25, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      The term “orchid” does come from the physical appearance of the plant. The underground tuber of species common around the Mediterranean (genus Orchis) is said to resemble a testicle, at least to people in the olden days.

  2. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Mar 25, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    I guess it is because I never used steriods, but mine register off the scale on the orchidometer.

    • Gobias Industries - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      I think you exaggerate. My orchidometer, on the other hand, needs to be specially made by the same company that makes Shaquille O’Neal’s shoes and Rosie O’Donnell’s pants.

  3. paperlions - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    How long does it take for testicles to start shrinking? Considering that they return to normal size within a few weeks of ending a steroid cycle, it can’t take that long for the shrinkage to occur. Bonds was taking this stuff for years. Even if we leap the giant chasm to assume that Bonds didn’t know he was taking steroids at first, how long would it have taken anyone to realize what they were taking when their testicles shrank to the size of a raisin? How long would it have taken anyone to realize it when they were cycled on and off the stuff as opposed to normal supplements which are taken daily?
    In short, even if he was lied to, only an idiot wouldn’t have realized what they were taking after a few months, and for all of his faults, Bonds is no idiot.

    • trevorb06 - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      That’s exactly my thoughts! And it’s not even about that. You’d think any athlete would know there truly is a supplement that is going to give you THOSE results and carry different adverse side-effect that protein and vitamin shots and CREAM ON YOUR SKIN (if that is what Bonds used) will not pose.

    • cur68 - Mar 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      paperlions; the shrinkage is usually quite gradual and can be really slowed with other steroids (clomid). It’s like heating water in which you have placed a frog I’ve been told; do it slowly enough the frog doesn’t even notice the change and will sit there till it boils. Most users don’t notice till their girlfriend says says “hey Bubba, what’s up with the fruit?”

      As for Barry; he knew what he was taking, I’m convinced of it. Otherwise Greg Anderson would be singing like a canary rather than cooling his heels in the clink. How else to explain that rather strange behavior?

  4. cjcottin - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    I’d like to hear a doctor explain Curt Shilling’s changes in Lamborghini size

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    I still don’t understand why Bonds’ lawyers didn’t — on Day One — say “yes, Barry Bonds took steroids.

    They probably didn’t have the balls to do it.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      Oh, zing.

  6. Jonny 5 - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Somewhere Pinnochio is cringing.

  7. Roger Moore - Mar 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Maybe their plan is to spring that defense after the prosecution has wasted all its time on the did he/didn’t he business. It could totally wrong-foot the prosecution and leave them scrambling to reassemble their case for redirect. Or, Bonds’s team might be leaving that option as an emergency plan if their main plan of showing that the prosecution’s witnesses are all a bunch of vindictive liars with axes to grind fails.

  8. hermitfool - Mar 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    orchidometer-Device for measuring testicles

    electron orchidometer-Device for measuring Barry Bonds’ testicles

  9. spudchukar - Mar 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    This is nuts.

  10. hockeygoalie29 - Mar 29, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    I can’t believe that nobody has pointed out the irony of talking about orchidometers on a site called “HardBallTalk”. Pure comedy gold right there.

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