Barry Bonds Trial: When the Jersey Comes Off, Nobody Cares
Barry Bonds is in trouble. With his perjury trial underway, Bonds faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, as well as the tarnishing of his legacy. As if it wasn't already.
For three years we have waited for this. The date was March 2011, and everyone in San Francisco and anyone growing up with an awareness of Bonds would remember that date. The day is finally here.
Evidence is stacked up against him. The prosecution has witnesses, trainers, mistresses, everything you can hope to put one of the most bashed public figures out there away for some time.
This is what the public wants to see: A hated man like Bonds, who has yet to tell the alleged truth, have the odds finally against him and get what he finally deserves.
But as I sat and watched the full coverage and analysis of the Bonds perjury trial on ESPN and every other station the other day, I couldn't help but think: I don't care.
What does this have to do with sports anymore? Bonds isn't in a San Francisco Giants uniform, so unless he is hitting home runs into McCovey Cove, how does this affect me? The truth is it doesn't.
I have grown up with Bonds. I've watched him hit colossal home run after colossal home run my whole life. He is one of the great entertainers in sports of my generation, and possibly ever.
I've watched the controversy he has gone through, and I cannot deny the evidence set against him, as much as I want to believe my childhood hero isn't guilty of cheating the game of baseball.
Still, I could not care what the outcome of this trial will be.
It goes the same for other former players as well.
I don't care what happens in July with Roger Clemens, or that Mark McGwire took steroids and finally came clean and all is good in the world now. We knew these players took steroids, otherwise there wouldn't be federal cases against them. The evidence on both Bonds and Clemens is enough to put them away for a long time.
It's Bonds' and Clemens' word against theirs, and that won't be any fun, I can guarantee that.
You cannot mistake that both Bonds' and Clemens' physical growths are tremendous. Their head, feet—you name it, it's grown. And you can bet the prosecution will be using all that.
But what does it matter? Everybody already knew. How does it affect me now?
Bonds isn't playing in San Francisco anymore. He isn't hitting home runs, and isn't being a jerk in the clubhouse.
Whatever the outcome is for his trial, and I stress that the evidence is largely stacked against him, I hope it finally ends here. Constant analysis and coverage on something that has zero affect on the game of baseball today (other than to seeing a major jerk finally get what he always had coming on national television) is ridiculous.
It's sad to see reporters like ESPN's T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada, former San Francisco Chronicle reporters before their big break—BALCO—continue to make a living off of Bonds', albeit deserved, misfortune.
With Bonds' trial heating up, and Clemens' trial coming to a television near you in July, this is just the start.
I hope they are either put away, or everyone forgets about it forever.
It would benefit baseball's image a whole lot.
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