Friday, December 03, 2004

Bonds could be clean . . . ?

My most upsetting sports day since Nov. 7, 1991 -- the day Magic Johnson announced his retirement because of HIV -- began with a phone call.

"Still think Bonds didn't do steroids?" Lawyer friend Steve said.

I really wanted to say yes, but after Juicin Giambi and his brother Jerecream Giambi admitted to taking steroids to a San Francisco grand jury, it's kind of hard to think Bonds is innocent.

But I really want to. Believing Bonds is clean is my last grasp for youth. Believing Bonds is clean keeps me thinking about being 12 years old, playing Whiffle Ball and hitting the storm door with a baseball when Dad taught me how to pitch. (For those not familiar with my childhood home geography, that pitch would have been about 12 feet outside for a lefty, and about 8 feet behind a righty. NOTE: It wasn't a curveball.)

Believing Bonds is clean allows some room for innocent idealism, which is completely gone anyway. But a kid, 29 years old or not, can always dream of the beauty of being a kid.

Instead, I get to deal with legal cheating.

I was prepared to burn my Jason Giambi T-shirt (for the record, it was purchased for me, not by me -- prepositions are very important in this situation), take pictures of it and post them here. However, when I got home from work, I remembered I threw that trashbucket's shirt out a few months ago after two long workouts in which I took a few sips of detectable water from a very non-designer water fountain.

So there will be no burning of Giambi shirts, unless one of my loyal readers wants to mail me one. I'll gladly burn it, take pictures and properly document your donation. (E-mail me and we can discuss this.)

And if anyone can help me take back the night of May 17, 2002 when I cheered in the Gaslight Lounge as Giambi earned his pinstripes with a grand slam in the 14th inning to beat the Twins 13-12 at the Stadium, I'd appreciate it. I'll send you some "red beans" and rice.

In the meantime, I will remain awake as long as possible until I can legitimately rationalize Bonds being clean. This could take a while. Thankfully, I'm off Friday and Saturday, so I have some time.

In Friday's edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, it was reported that Bonds told the grand jury he took the cream and the clear but did so unknowingly. Interesting. Could be believable. That seems to fall in line with the federal charges against BALCO president Victor Conte, indicted for distributing undetectable steroids to elite athletes. Hmmm? Undetectable is in the same Pac Bell ballpark as unknowingly.

Hey, maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.

Next up on the docket: Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer, has documents showing payments and calendars and they have Bonds' name on them. Bonds claims to never have seen them until that day in court last December. Again, could be entirely possible that Anderson knew exactly what he was giving Bonds and was documenting things for CYA purposes (that's Cover Your Patoot, but the patoot starts with an 'a' and ends in 's' and has another consonant that rhymes with 's' in between). Could be? Could be!

I'll be asleep before the Leno reruns end.

Bonds and Anderson have been friends for a very long time. Bonds makes millions, Anderson does not. Bonds hires Anderson as his trainer a few years ago. Anderson wants to be accepted by Bonds and other ballplayers. ( I mean, really, what do weight trainers have going for themselves in life aside from Zubaz pants and cutoff B.U.M. equipment sweatshirts? It's not like they all can be Rick Derris.) Anderson gets these designer steroids and won't tell Bonds what they are because he's afraid of losing his meal ticket. It's possible.

Bonds was an amazing baseball player well before he hit those 73 home runs in 2001. He always had talent. Isn't it feasible that he finally figured out a strike zone? These steroids that people speak of in the same sentence as Bonds, do they make him not swing at pitches that are out of the strike zone? Do they make him single through a right side of the infield that looks like Normandy Beach when he bats? Do they really make him hit home runs? It's not like he never had a 40-homer season before that year? OK, maybe steroids can take a guy from 40 to something higher, but it's not as if Bonds was averaging seven home runs a season.

I'm just saying it's entirely possible.

Bring on Jack McCoy. Let's go Ben Stone. I'll take you both out. I'm raising reasonable doubt. I feel like Jerry Gallo, oh wait, Jerry Callo, hold up, Vincent LaGuardia Gambini.

But wait a second, Barry Bonds does have a really big f-bombing head nowadays.

Damn!

I could be up until next Thursday.

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