Barry Bonds Trial and the Corruption from All Sides

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IApril 8, 2011

Barry Bonds' fate was finally put into a jury of his peers' hands yesterday after 11 trial days and seven-and-a-half years of persecution by the United States Government.

I know most of you are probably on the edge of your seats just waiting for the verdict in such an integral case in our country's history.  This case could be pivotal in setting precedent for exactly how to waste millions of our tax dollars in the pursuit of a high-profile athlete who may have lied in an effort to either protect himself or protect a childhood friend.

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a little biased.  

Being a Barry Bonds fan since I was six, I can only keep rooting for my childhood idol to topple another obstacle on his way to being considered the greatest baseball player of all time.

I never thought his obstacles would include United States prosecutors Jeff Nedrow and Matthew Perrella, talking in a courtroom about his testicle size, though.

Who cares?

That's the question that always gets asked when Barry Bonds' name is mentioned these days.  Who cares?

The trial is almost eight years old, everyone knows Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs and the majority of us believe that the perjury trial against him is ridiculous, no matter which side we sit on.

But I've cared.  

Every day, since the beginning of the trial, I have been following the Twitter feeds of Sports Illustrated senior writer George Dohrmann and ESPN investigations reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada.  They both have done a remarkable job bringing live reporting to the forefront of the social media world.  

What has been so great about the reporting is the unbiased nature of it.  

Both feeds have delivered objective reporting; statements from both the prosecution and defense have been quoted to let us see exactly what has been said.  Witness questioning has been transcribed (without either reporter's opinion injected) and they've created a 140-character, text-based window to a trial that I've never seen before.

It made me feel like I was one of the jurors.

The ironic part of the entire situation is that, while I'm reading hundreds of tweets every day, experiencing the trial, I still have to look for the lies.  

I've realized now that the real subtext of this trial isn't perjury, it's corruption, and every party involved is guilty.

Corruption is everywhere.  If someone can find some way to benefit himself and get away with it, then corruption will be involved.

I don't need to go into the details of the trial and try to persuade you one way or another.  What I will do is display the corruption that is right in front of our eyes that we seem to miss every day.

First, we have Barry Bonds—the home-run king that never "knowingly" took steroids.  Clearly he knew what he was doing, and he was corrupt in lying or exaggerating the truth when he spoke in the BALCO case.

Next we have the US Government, corrupt in its own right.  The government offered immunity to all players who testified in the BALCO case, and a year later, Bonds was targeted.  

During the trial, the prosecutors have done so many things oddly, including having two of their star witnesses, Steve Hoskins and Kathy Hoskins, in the same room together while Kathy testified.  

They neglected to pursue an FBI investigation into Steve Hoskins' forgery of Bonds' signature and instead gave Steve Hoskins immunity in return for his testimony in the trial. 

Most importantly, they've clearly selected Bonds as the poster boy for their investigation and perjury trial, even though they could have chosen someone like Rafael Palmeiro, who sat in front of Congress, pointing his finger and admonishing steroids, saying he never used them, and a year later was suspended by Major League Baseball for doing so.

Where's Raffy's trial?

Lastly, the corruption lies with the reporters that I talked so highly of earlier.

Mark Fainaru-Wada, an "investigative reporter" for ESPN, is better known for co-writing the book Game of Shadows with fellow San Francisco Chronicle reporter Lance Williams. 

The book broke open the BALCO doping scandal and showed how Barry Bonds was involved.  Yet, ESPN still believes that its lead reporter on this trial should be Mark Fainaru-Wada, whose bias is displayed throughout Game of Shadows.  

It's even more apparent with his most recent article on, "What the Jury Wasn't Told."

People think that members of various social classes act differently; in actuality, we are all very similar.  

You can have the star baseball player who lies to protect himself, the US Government that neglects protocol to protect itself and reporters who use their power to display an agenda and protect their credibility.  

It doesn't matter who makes the most money or who gains the most from it. The President can be as corrupt as the person on welfare.

Corruption isn't always the easiest thing to see, but usually, when a little bit is found, a much bigger pile is underneath it.