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Everything You Need to Know About the Bonds Trial: Day 9

Rob Iracane
Big League Stew

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Just when we thought the Barry Bonds trial was moving along quite swimmingly, a roadblock arose in the least expected of places: Inside a juror's gall bladder. The jury was excused from the courtroom on Monday because Juror No. 9 was out sick with gallstones. Essentially, nothing of note arose from witness testimony on day No. 8 because there were no witnesses called.

However, with the jury dismissed from the courtroom, one important discovery was unveiled on our lost Monday. The prosecution revealed that they had found a missing conversation between Bonds' former buddy Steve Hoskins and Dr. Arthur Ting, Bonds' orthopedic surgeon. During his testimony, Ting claimed he spoke with Hoskins only once and never about steroids, but if this audio snippet showed otherwise, it could negate Ting's otherwise bad testimony and strengthen the government's case.

On Tuesday, we would find out if Bonds could be sunk by this surprise evidence. {YSP:MORE}

Tuesday's Main Event: In a word, no. The defense filed a motion on Tuesday to disallow the recording and the judge agreed, claiming the tape was barely audible and anything said in it was inadmissible and irrelevant. Heck, if the court wants to listen to something audible and actually relevant, I've got some old Talking Heads cassettes in a shoebox somewhere. In fact, "Road to Nowhere" would fit quite well with the quixotic aims of the government.

Earlier on Tuesday, the prosecution called a handful of science-types to testify about Bonds' urine sample. Don Catlin, a former director at a UCLA laboratory, testified that the sample contained THG, a steroid that is used by athletes to prevent detection of other, more useful steroids, and clomiphene, which suppresses the body's production of estrogen.

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So while neither of these chemicals are performance-enhancing substances per se, they are essentially what one would take if one were enhancing one's performance artificially but wanted to hide the evidence. Kind of like finding a murder suspect with Home Depot receipts for lime and a shovel.

When the Circus Comes to Town: After the government's final witnesses were excused, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston allowed for Bonds' earlier grand jury testimony to be read out loud for the benefit of the jurors. Two young law clerks played the roles of Bonds and the questioner, and ESPN reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada actually tweeted a link to the LinkedIn profile of the "actor" playing the role of Bonds.

I'm not sure what instructions the jurors received before watching this little one-act play unfold before their eyes, but watching a skinny white kid reading the part of superstar slugger Barry Bonds would render me completely impossible of suspending disbelief. It's a shame they couldn't just watch a video of Bonds giving his grand jury testimony, and, for the government's sake, it's a shame they couldn't at least get Samuel L. Jackson to do a dramatic interpretation.

According to Sports Illustrated's George Dohrmann, Bonds did not come off sounding evasive or antagonistic in the reading of his answers. Rather, Barry seemed he trusted his trainer a bit too much and ended up getting screwed because Greg Anderson sneaked some steroids into Bonds' oatmeal.

Quote of the Day: Bonds' lead attorney Allen Ruby lays down the law on his notoriously disagreeable client:

"If Mr. Bonds testifies, it will be tomorrow"

We're ready for Barry's closeup, Mr. Ruby!

What's Next: The government has reached the end of their witness list and closed their case. On Wednesday, the defense will call its witnesses, if any, including a possible earth-shaking appearance by Bonds himself on the stand. Chances of this happening are slim, but we must assume that defense attorney Ruby, a veteran of the world of fake wrestling, knows how to drum up some drama to get everyone excited.

Convict-o-meter: Holds steady at 2 out of 10. Based on my amateurish legal knowledge from years of watching District Attorney Jack McCoy, the government suffers with the burden of proof while the defense merely has to install a tiny shred of doubt in the jury's minds. Bonds' high-priced defense team is throwing every possible bit of doubt-inducing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks and so far, there's more pasta on the wall than on the floor.

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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