There may be no bigger poster child for the Steroid Era* in baseball than Barry Bonds. When he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the world knew that he was one of the most talented players in the game. But when he moved to San Francisco, he went from a great player to one of the most feared in the game. His reputation was so big, that he was once walked with the bases loaded in extra innings to face Jeff Kent, who was hitting behind him at the time.
The only thing that was more inflated than his home run numbers was his hat size. I mean, the guy went from a five-Tool talent to becoming the all-time and single-season home run leader. He drew more walks than ANYONE in the history of the game over a four-year span. He had a OBP of OVER .500 for a season.
The only thing he was ever CAUGHT doing was rubbing a cream, The Clear, on and he swore up and down that he had no idea it was filled with steroids.
That didn’t stop MLB from being called to the grand jury when it came time for the investigation into BALCO, the pharmacy in the Bay Area that was one of the main suppliers of PED’s to baseball players. That was where the real trouble began for Bonds.
Bonds was charged with lying to a federal grand jury about his performance-enhancing drug use back in 2007. He told the jury personal trainer Greg Anderson never injected him with PEDs.
Bonds was convicted and sentenced to 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service in youth-related activities and a $4,000 fine after being convicted in 2011. He served the home confinement before the conviction was overturned.
Now, according to the Associated Press, the U.S. Department of Justice formally dropped its criminal prosecution of Barry Bonds on Tuesday. The Justice Department declined to ask the Supreme Court to review a reversal of Bonds’ felony conviction from 2011.
A jury convicted Bonds in 2011 of obstruction of justice for giving a meandering answer to a federal grand jury when asked about injections. A federal appeals court overturned that conviction in April.
The DOJ could have asked the high court to take the case. Instead, the DOJ said the reversal of Bonds’ conviction would stand. Now that the entire ugly incident is behind the new home-run king, don’t expect him to become enshrined in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.
No, while he may have had his conviction over-turned and basically vindicated of all federal charges, in the court of public opinion and more importantly, the Baseball Writers of America, Bonds will ALWAYS be guilty, and will have to sit with Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens on the outside of the Hall of Fame.