Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lie To Congress, Get Probation: Wrist-Slap for Former Athletic Tejada Makes Bonds Prosecution/Persecution Look That Much Sillier

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 1:15 PM

crosshairbonds.jpg
Funneling vast sums of money from the government into the hands of miserable bastards has, in effect become federal policy. So has wasting vast sums of money in futile legal pursuit of miserable bastards -- and folks are starting to get mad.

After expending somewhere in the ballpark of $60 million in a steroidal witch hunt that has resulted in a handful of laughably minor sentences against a smattering of obscure athletes, the government essentially took its ball and went home earlier this month in its ongoing prosecution of Barry Bonds. Whether that trial ever gets back on track -- and we're betting it won't -- the notion of pouring vast amounts of cash into nailing Bonds is looking more and more hypocritical.

Today's light sentence handed to confessed steroid cheater Miguel Tejada is hard to square with the legal bean ball Bonds endured. In short, Tejada -- a likable former Oakland Athletic whose bulky physique and gaudy statistics were a clear red flag to anyone who hasn't uttered the phrase 'Aw, shucks' since childhood -- was placed on a year's probation, fined $5,000, and sentenced to 100 hours of community service for lying to congressional investigators.

Surely some scold will bring up how Tejada's crime of lying to investigators doesn't measure up to Bonds' alleged transgression of perjury -- but, in truth, one could argue that Tejada's is the graver offense. The Houston Astros' shortstop out-and-out lied about whether he'd ever discussed drugs with teammates, let alone used them. Bonds, meanwhile, obfuscated about "knowingly" taking steroids. What's more, it turns out the prosecutors knew all along that, at the time Bonds was testifying about taking "The Clear," the substance was not classified as illegal or a steroid by the government. This means Bonds and others who claimed they never knowingly took illegal drugs or steroids regarding "The Clear" were, technically, telling the truth. So, the government's perjury case would have been a longshot along the lines of Duane Kuiper swinging for the fences -- and, to cap it off, Bonds' teammates offered remarkably similar grand jury testimony to the slugger's. None of them has ever faced any legal scrutiny.

Here's hoping the government follows the same advice in pursuing its misbegotten case against Bonds that a doubtless future dot.com millionaire gave as his senior quote in my high school yearbook: "Put it off, put it off -- blow it off."

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"