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Big League Stew

Everything You Need to Know About the Bonds Trial: Day 10

Rob Iracane
Big League Stew

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Any chance that Barry Bonds' crack legal team of hired guns would call Bonds himself to the witness stand were crushed on Wednesday when the defense decided not to call a single witness and close its case on the spot.

I say that stinks! We all missed our chance to see courtroom sketch artist Norman Quebedeau do a post-impressionist sketch of Barry trying on a size 7 1/4 cap. From what I learned in high school, if the hat does fit, you must acquit, I think. {YSP:MORE}

Wednesday's Main Event: The defense implied earlier it might call Steve Hoskins, Bonds' former friend and gofer, back to the stand but relented. The defense probably thought it would be a bad move to give Hoskins a chance to redeem himself from what was perceived to be poor testimony that did not help the government's case.

They also neglected to call two federal agents who were involved in an FBI probe of Hoskins for allegedly forging Bonds' signature on some memorabilia to make a quick buck. Again, they consider Hoskins to be such a poor witness they probably don't need to throw any more rocks at his reputation.

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After the defense wrapped its case up, the jury was dismissed and the two sides worked out some motions with U.S. District Judge Susan Illston. The government asked to withdraw Count 4, which was a perjury charge concerning Bonds denying that personal trainer Greg Anderson gave him anything at all before 2003. Since Anderson is currently staring at four concrete walls in the hoosegow for refusing to testify, this is no big loss for the government's case.

That still leaves four charges against Bonds: Three perjuries and an obstruction. One more obstruction and he gets a full house, so that's something he could look into.

When the Circus Comes to Town: In the closing moments of the defense's case, it read a segment of Bonds' ex-mistress Kimberly Bell's grand jury testimony before the court. Why? It wanted to prove that Bell's grand jury statements conflicted with what she said as a witness in the trial.

Essentially, Bell told the grand jury in 2005 that a diary she kept while dating Bonds was written by herself. But during the trial last week, she alleged that part of the diary was ghost-written by trashy novel author Aphrodite Jones. (I'm implying the novels are trashy, not Ms. Jones, if that is her real name). Chalk this up as another attempt by the defense to instill doubt about the reliability of the government's witnesses.

Also chalk it up as a good way for Aphrodite Jones to sell some trashy novels.

Quote of the Day: Today's quote speaks to the questionable entourage of hangers-on and personal trainers that Bonds surrounded himself with:

"There's a saying among financial analysts: The more money that's involved, the less likelihood for an ethical outcome."

— Marianne Jennings, a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University, as quoted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Photo of the Day:

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I hope you didn't use the zoom function on your digital camera, pal. You'll never fit Bonds' entire head in the frame!

What's Next: All that's left for the lawyers to do is take a deep breath and unleash their closing arguments before the jury. The government estimates their closing statement will take about 90 minutes while the defense is raising the stakes on loquaciousness and slotting a full three hours. Yikes!

Afterwards, the jury begins its deliberation. It could take hours, it could take days. Either way, the end to this sometimes farcical, sometimes maddening trial nears, dear reader.

Convict-o-meter: I'm going to raise this three ticks to 5 out of 10. Not because I have any legal insight to this case, but rather quite the opposite. I've got no darn idea how this thing will play out so I'd rather hedge my bets, turn the dial to the exact middle, and see what happens.

Note: Our daily Bonds summaries are compiled every day with the help of several Internet sources, including the Twitter accounts of @georgedorhmann and @gwenknapp, which have proved invaluable on a minute-by-minute basis.
Follow them, as well as Rob (@iracane).

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