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Big League Stew

Everything You Need to Know About the Bonds Trial: Day 7

Rob Iracane
Big League Stew

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On a day when the San Francisco Giants were battling the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day about 400 miles down the coast, the most famous former Giant not named Willie Mays arrived at the federal courthouse for the seventh day of witnesses at his perjury trial. On Thursday, Bonds and the rest of the courtroom would hear from his doctor and a former friend, and his trial would take a turn in his favor.

No wonder he was smiling on his way out ...  {YSP:MORE}

Thursday's Main Event: The prosecution led off the day by calling Bonds' personal physician, Dr. Arthur Ting, to the stand. Dr. Ting, an orthopedic surgeon, performed eight surgeries on Bonds and prescribed him several perfectly legal steroids containing prednisone for recovery purposes since 1998. Ting helped the feds case by stating the symptoms for illegal steroids, but helped the defense when he said those symptoms can arise from legal steroids, too.

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Ting's big bombshell on Thursday was contradicting former Bonds friend Steve Hoskins' earlier testimony. Hoskins claimed that Ting (hiding behind a convenient window glare and a suitcase here to the right) and he had up to 50 chats about Bonds and steroids and surgery. Ting denies that and says they only spoke once, and it wasn't about Bonds. This contradiction is what is called in the world of jurisprudence "a pickle."

In the end, the question is whether the jury will believe Ting or Hoskins. Did they speak about Bonds' elbow injury and steroid use or didn't they? One of them is either lying or has a terribly selective memory. The jury will have to choose whether to believe Ting or Hoskins, and based on my completely non-existent knowledge of psychological tendencies, they'll believe the doctor over the guy who was once employed as Barry Bonds' gopher.

When the Circus Comes to Town: During his testimony, Ting claimed that Bonds was scared of needles and would get a shot of Novocaine before getting shot up with anything else. So effectively: To get over his fear of needles, he needed another needle. This is a conflicted man.

In other needling news, Steve Hoskins' sister Kathy, Bonds' childhood friend, claimed that she saw personal trainer Greg Anderson inject Bonds with an unknown substance in his navel. Yow! Does Barry have an innie or an outie? Does it matter? I mean, wouldn't that be ridiculously painful either way? No wonder Bonds needed a little dose of Novocaine first. Heck, I think you'd have to club me over the head with a comically oversized meat mallet before you could stick me in the belly.

Quote of the Day:

"At next recess, if there is one, the defense team is going to be doing Brad Stevens-like chest bumps in a side room."

Sports Illustrated's George Dohrmann on Twitter after Bonds defense attorney Cristina Arguedas eviscerated the government's case during her cross-examination of Ting.

Photo of the Day:

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I realize the Oakland A's are desperate for offense in 2011 but sending a team representative to the trial in an attempt to sign Barry Bonds is just bad timing.

What's Next: Friday is a day of rest for the trial (and, for the Catholics on the jury, a day of fish). On Monday, the proceedings will return with, presumably, the dramatic reading of Bonds' grand jury testimony to the jurors. No word yet as to who will be doing the reading, but I'd really like to hear Christopher Walken do it.

Convict-o-Meter: The convict-o-meter plummets all the way down to two out of 10. This is the lowest we've been on the convict-o-meter, friends, and we can pin it directly on Ting's testimony, which blew up in the prosecution's face. The government's case is slumping like, well, Barry Bonds himself never slumped in his entire career so I can't make a convenient comparison.

The best chance right now would be for the prosecution to pull a fast one and call a surprise witness on Monday. I'm calling it now: Jeff Kent will come bursting through the courtroom doors doing wheelies on his motorcycle and carrying VHS videotapes of Bonds injecting HGH. Mark it.

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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