The Barry Bonds steroid case took two amazing turns over the past few days. You might remember Bonds is the San Francisco Giant who is closing in on Hank Aaron’s all-time Major League record for the number of career home runs. (Bonds is now at 734 to Aaron’s 755).
You might also remember that Bonds was the player who was revealed in the book Game of Shadows to have guzzled more steroids than Popeye ate spinach, having also apparently lied to a grand jury into the BALCO drugs affair, by claiming he had never knowingly taken steroids.
Despite the damning and exhaustive evidence of that book, Bonds has remained free to slug homers and chase Aaron’s record, apparently unaffected by the whole scandal and certainly not ordered off the pitch by baseball’s authorities.
Which meant he was free to smack yet another homer against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday to claim the all-time record for the National League (the Giants’ baseball division, as against the whole thing), passing Aaron.
This came the day after the two authors of Game of Shadows, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, were ordered by a federal judge to go to jail, for refusing to reveal their sources.
The reporters have appealed the decision but face more than a year behind bars if they won’t break the traditional journalistic code of honouring the secrecy of sources.
So just to be clear, these two reporters face a length jail sentence for doing their job, while the man they revealed as a drug-cheat and a liar in front of a grand jury sails along happily. Not surprisingly, other journalists, like Ray Ratto, are outraged.
To make it more bizarre, the Brewers’ manager, Ned Yost, was asked what he thought of Bonds after he broke the NL record, and said, apparently straight-faced: “He (Bonds) is a once-in-a-lifetime guy. He works real hard to keep himself in shape.”