The world is just a little safer today because Barry Bonds has been convicted on one count of obstruction of justice. It is now safe to leave your homes.
Bonds can now add “Convicted Felon” to his resume alongside “Seven-Time MVP” and “All-Time Home Run Champion.”
The jury could not come to a verdict on the three counts of perjury that Bonds was also tried for. According to legal experts the guilty verdict for obstruction doesn’t make sense. Their argument: How can you obstruct justice without lying or deceiving? I will leave that argument to the lawyers and the writers for “Law and Order.”
The bigger question is this: Was it all worth it?
Even though he could face up to 10 years in prison, it is very unlikely that Bonds will spend any time in jail. For similar offenses, others have received six to 12 months of home confinement. And I’m sure Barry’s home is pretty nice. His lawyers are already talking about appealing the verdict so there may not be a sentencing hearing for months. He will most likely get fined but Bonds is a multi-millionaire. How much is that going to hurt?
The U.S. government had to try Barry Bonds. They couldn’t let him thumb his nose at the legal system. They had to make an example out of him. They just came up a little bit short.
In the court of public opinion (outside the Bay Area) Bonds has already been found guilty. You don’t have to be Perry Mason to come to the conclusion that Bonds has used steroids. And that verdict may be the one that hurts Bonds the most.
With this conviction his chances of getting elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame are pretty much shot. Which, in a way, is a shame because Barry was a Hall of Fame caliber player when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates? (That’s right; he was with another team before the Giants. Go ahead, Google it.) Bonds was voted league MVP seven times in his career. Two of those came in a Pirates uniform. If a player with his stats were to be kept out of the Hall of Fame, that would send a stronger message to current players than any courtroom verdict ever could.
So if he had the natural skills to dominate in the league to begin with, why take steroids? As silly as it sounds, it was peer pressure.
All of the heavy hitters were juicing back then. From Jose Canseco to Mark McGwier and Jason Giambi. Hell, even the pitchers were taking steroids. Barry had to juice just to keep up. And I am not saying his to defend Barry Bonds in any way. I am a lifelong Los Angeles Dodger fan and any tragedy that befalls the Giants is okay with me.
I am bringing it up so we can all understand the context of why Barry did what he did. It’s a bit sad that a player with his talent felt the need to cheat in order to stay on top. No matter what uniform he is wearing.