Big League Stew - MLB

It is said that every good thing must come to an end.

Bad things must come to an end, too. And luckily, for us, this bizarre Barry Bonds perjury trial we've been covering for the past three weeks is drawing to a close.

On Thursday, lawyers from both sides stepped up to the plate, puffed their chests out, drew a deep breath, and traded long-winded closing arguments before a jury that must be ready to get back to the quotidian ways of their normal lives. Has anyone ever stopped to consider these poor folks are missing the entire season of "American Idol"? 

Thursday's Main Event: The prosecution led off the day by telling the jury that Bonds could have avoided this pickle by simply telling the truth. Because remember: Barry is not on trial for taking steroids, he's on trial for allegedly lying about maybe taking steroids.

Attorney Jeff Nedrow continued by listing the witnesses they called who either saw trainer Greg Anderson inject Bonds with 'roids, received the 'roids themselves from Anderson, or secretly recorded Anderson talking about the 'roids. Because again, this trial is about the truth, not the 'roids.

Nedrow also spoke about Giants team trainer Stan Conte and Bonds' ex-mistress Kim Bell who both claim that Bonds' testicles shrunk. Most importantly, Nedrow questioned how an athlete who made $17 million a year could be so naive and nonchalant about what went into his body.

The defense countered with, essentially, one word: doubt. Doubt that the witnesses were necessarily telling the exact truth because they had bad blood with Bonds. Doubt that the side effects Bonds was experiencing had anything to do with illegal substances. And doubt that Bonds' testicles really shrunk at all.

Bonds' lawyers picked apart the government witnesses one by one. Still, the only thing they could dig up about the prosecution's best witness, Kathy Hoskins, who claims she saw Bonds get injected, was her familial relationship. Kathy is Steve Hoskins' sister and Steve Hoskins had his longtime friendship with Bonds go in the crapper when Bonds accused him of forging memorabilia. The defense implied that if Steve had a bone to pick with Bonds, so does his sister Kathy.

When the Circus Comes to Town: Although we all expected the defense to bring up the government's poor witness Dr. Arthur Ting, we never thought the government themselves would do it during their closing arguments! But that's exactly what prosecutor Parrella did, citing Ting as a "celebrity doctor" protecting a "celebrity athlete."

Not only did Ting, Bonds' personal physician, contradict Steve Hoskins' testimony that Ting and Hoskins had 50 conversations about Bonds, he also testified that the side effects that Bonds was displaying could be from perfectly legal steroids, too.

Parrella must be so cocksure that his case is open-and-shut since he claimed that they only called Ting because the government "had nothing to hide." Funny, if Bonds walks free, the prosecution's choice to leave Ting on the stand may go down in history as something as bad as Grady Little's decision to leave Pedro Martinez on the mound.

Quotes of the Day: Dennis Riordan, one of Bonds' lawyers, quotes Karl Marx in his failed attempt to have the judge throw out all the charges:

"History repeats itself,  first as tragedy, second as farce."

To which prosecutor Matt Parrella snarkily replied:

"As for the quote from Marx, I'm glad we don't live in communist Russia."

Boom, roasted.

Photo of the Day:

Don't even think about bringing a gun into the courtroom, Barry. Or is that a garden hose nozzle?

What's Next: We all rest for a three-day weekend. Everybody go out and enjoy actual baseball being played. The jury will begin deliberation first thing Monday morning. The jury actually starts deliberating Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. PDT. Hopefully it'll wrap it up in time for the Giants home opener at 1:35 p.m. local time!

Convict-o-meter: Let's just throw the convict-o-meter out the window. Either this thing ran out of batteries or science has simply not provided us with a way of measuring the way the hearts and minds of 12 human beings work.

Nope, this Barry Bonds perjury trial, while almost completely devoid of salacious detail or dramatic revelations, is coming down to the wire and it's wholly up to the jurors now. But if I had to pick a side now, I'd pick the defense. Their job was to instill doubt and, despite my pre-trial ideas that Bonds surely used illegal steroids and lied about it, I'm not so sure what's true anymore.

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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