Home run records holder and alleged steroid user Barry Bonds, earned a major win Friday when a federal appeals court ruled prosecutors could not use drug tests and doping calendars in the former All-Star's ongoing perjury case.
Bonds' case went to the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a lower court ruled the government could not directly tie blood and urine samples to the retired slugger.
In order to legitimize the drug tests from 2000 and 2001, the government has to get Greg Anderson, Bonds' former trainer, to testify. Anderson will likely keep quiet; he has already been to jail multiple times for steroid distribution.
The court decision is frustrating for both the U.S. Government and baseball fans.
Unlike Mark McGwire, whose admittance to using performance-enhancing drugs has allowed his fans to start a necessary healing process, Bonds is stuck in legal limbo, where his image as a potential Hall of Fame inductee has been severely diminished.
Although the court ruling greatly helps the Bonds case, it does little for Bonds' future.
Sports analysts, fans and the like have already begun adding asterisks to Bonds' 73rd and 762nd home run records in conversation, and most San Francisco Giants enthusiasts have chosen to put Bonds behind them and cling to young (and skinny) pitcher Tim Lincecum.
So where will Bonds be in five years? Will he be finishing a five-year prison sentence for having pleaded guilty to multiple counts of making false statements under oath?
Bonds has the kind of legal backing that could disprove gravity if it was so inclined. Plus, steroid litigation is a relatively new and delicate subject to the U.S. court system.
Although he will probably not spend any time in prison, Bonds will spend many years on the Hall of Fame ballot.
It's no question Bonds was already a Hall of Fame caliber player before steroids, but the refusal to give Bonds baseball's highest honor will not be a fallacy.
Bonds, like Pete Rose, may just have to spend the rest of his life on the chopping block, to serve America's past time as an example of athletic wrongdoing, instead of athletic greatness.