SAN FRANCISCO – Courtroom 10 in the federal courthouse should be free of crude discussion of Barry Bonds' allegedly shriveled testicles, supposed premature baldness and rumored massive head – at least that was the spirited argument Wednesday in a defense filing in the perjury case.
The motion by Bonds' attorneys addressed scientific and lay testimony proposed by the prosecution that the defense believes Judge Susan Illston should prohibit in her "gatekeeping role."
Attorneys for the former slugger charged that one of the government's expert witnesses on steroids, Larry Bowers, while the senior managing director of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and an accomplished chemist, "is not even a medical doctor" and "does not claim to have treated, let alone examined a single individual who was known or suspected of using steroids or HGH."
The defense derided the science and studies that Bowers and the government cited that allege steroid and human growth hormone use by Bonds would have been witnessed by a former girlfriend, teammates and others in the form of physical symptoms: shrunken testicles, male pattern baldness, and a giant skull and fingers.
"The Court must be especially vigilant to ensure that misleading and prejudicial testimony is not presented," wrote lawyer Allen Ruby, who added that the suggestion that Bonds exhibited symptoms of "roid rage" could create "the potential of a sideshow of criticism from biased witnesses concerning Mr. Bonds' personality."
As to allegations about Bonds' testicles, the defense claimed a failure of proof. Alleging that Bonds' former mistress Kimberly Bell had pressed a legal claim against the slugger and shopped a book about their relationship, Ruby noted that no medical evidence had been introduced to support her claim to "have noticed that Mr. Bonds' testicles became smaller."
Visual inspection apparently won't do. Ruby noted that a "layperson" would have difficulty detecting diminished testicles "even by touch."
The only reliable means of measurement, Ruby wrote, is by a "trained examiner" using a special device called an orchidometer.
Whether Bonds' testicles, lack of hair, cranium size or mood swings become the subject of expert or lay testimony at trial rests with Illston, who is expected to rule on admissible evidence any day.