Barry Bonds Perjury Trial Begins, Steriods and Baseball Back in Headlines

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIMarch 23, 2011

Barry Bonds went back on trial Monday for four counts of lying to federal grand jury about steroid use.
Barry Bonds went back on trial Monday for four counts of lying to federal grand jury about steroid use.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For those who thought the steroid era in baseball was all but over, Monday reminded them that it is very much alive and once again, rearing its ugly head on America's national pastime.

In a Northern California Federal Courthouse, the trial of former San Francisco Giants slugger, Barry Bonds began.

Bonds isn't on trial for using steroids, he's on trial for lying about using steroids.

In the court of public opinion, he may almost be beyond guilty. His hat size grew, he physically got bigger, and he went from a player who in 15 prior major league seasons had never hit more than 50 home runs in his career, to hitting 73 in one magical season.

Bonds, who was never mentioned as possibly breaking the all-time home run record prior to the 2001 season, set the mark with 762, although some believe that Hank Aaron still holds that record. 

In a court of law however, Bonds may beat the perjury charges, thanks in large part to his childhood friend and former trainer, Greg Anderson, who on Tuesday was sentenced to prison for the second time for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury.

Federal prosecutors had planned on showing the jury doping calendars that kept track of Bond's alleged steroid use as well as test results that were seized during a raid on BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) in 2003.

With Anderson unwilling to testify, Prosecutors reduced the charges on Bonds from 11 to five, including four charges of perjury, which Bonds is currently in court for.

Further, without Anderson, federal prosecutors have turned to other key witnesses, including Bonds' former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, the former lead BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky, San Francisco Giants' clubhouse manager Mike Murphy, former Giants' teamate Benito Santiago and fellow baseball player Jason Giambi.

In the end, after the fallout from the Jose Canseco book Juiced, the death of former National League MVP Ken Caminati, who in 2002 admitted to using steroids during his MVP run and claiming that half of the league used, to the countless allegations and positive drug tests, including "I don't want to talk about the past" to "everyone was doing it," steroids in baseball is back in the spotlight, and sadly, may be for a very long time.