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Barry Bonds

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Barry Bonds

Free Agent — No. 25
Left field
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Major League Baseball debut
May 30, 1986 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Selected MLB statistics
(through 2006)
AVG     .299
HR     734
RBI     1930
SB     509
SLG     .608
Teams

    Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964 in Riverside, California) is a Major League left fielder and currently a free agent. He is the son of former MLB All-Star Bobby Bonds and the godson of Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

    Bonds holds a number of Major League Baseball records including the most home runs in a single season set in 2001 with 73. Through 2006, Bonds is first in career walks (2,426) and intentional walks (645). He is second in career home runs with 734, trailing only Hank Aaron who hit 755; Bonds also ranks second in extra base hits (1,398), third in at bats per home run (13.0), sixth in on-base percentage (.443), runs (2,152), slugging percentage (.608), and total bases (5,784), and seventh in RBIs (1,930). Bonds also tops the list of career home runs in the National League, having eclipsed Aaron's previous record of 733.

    Through 2006 he also leads all active players in home runs, RBIs (1,930), walks (2,426), intentional walks (645), obp (.443), runs (2,152), games (2,860), extra base hits (1,398), at bats per home run (13.0), and total bases (5,784). At the same time he is 2nd in doubles (587), slugging percentage (.608), and stolen bases (509), 3rd in at bats (9,507) and hits (2,841), 4th in triples (77), and 8th in strikeouts (1,485).

    Bonds has been compared with some of baseball's best hitters of all time, including legends Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, and Ty Cobb.[1]

    Since 2003, Bonds has become a key figure in the BALCO scandal and despite the fact that Bonds has never failed a drug test, a number of journalists have alleged that Bonds used steroids as well as other performance-enhancing substances. To date, Bonds has not been charged with any crime in connection with the BALCO incident, and has never failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs. Furthermore, the steroids he is accused of taking were not outlawed by MLB at the time he allegedly took them.

    Contents

    [edit] Early life and career

    Bonds attended Junípero Serra High School and excelled in baseball, basketball and football. As a freshman, he spent the baseball season on the JV team. The next 3 years —1980-82—he starred on the varsity. He batted .467 his senior year, and was honored as a prep All-America.[1]

    Although originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1982, Bonds chose to go to college first, playing baseball at Arizona State University. In 1984 he batted .360 and stole 30 bases. In 1985 he hit 23 homers, with 66 RBIs and a .368 batting average. He was a Sporting News All-American selection that year. He graduated from Arizona State in 1986 with a degree in criminology.

    He began his major league career in 1986 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who selected him with the 6th overall pick in the 1985 draft. Bonds played with the Prince William Pirates for the 1985 season (with Bobby Bonilla) and, during the last game of the season, played all 9 positions.

    In 1986, Bonds finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting, hitting 16 home runs and stealing 36 bases. Over the next 3 years, he was criticized for not living up to his potential, despite having respectable numbers. He hit 25 home runs in his sophomore season along with 32 stolen bases and 59 RBIs. Bonds improved in 1988, hitting .283 with 24 home runs, the latter being among the league leaders. Bonds started off his 1989 campaign well, but petered off quickly. He finished with just 19 homers and 58 RBIs.

    However, 1990 proved to be a different story. Bonds won the MVP award for the first time, hitting .301 with 33 home runs and 114 RBI. His 52 stolen bases was third in the league. He won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards. In 1991, Bonds also put up great numbers, hitting 25 homers and driving in 116 runs, and obtained another Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Despite this, he finished second to NL batting champion Terry Pendleton in the MVP voting. The next season, Bonds won his second MVP award. He dominated the NL, hitting .311 with 34 homers and 103 RBIs. Bonds helped the Pirates into the playoffs, and figured in the final play in Game 7 of the NLCS, where he tried to throw out Sid Bream in order to keep the game going. But the throw to catcher Mike LaValliere's was late. For the second time in three seasons, the Pirates were denied a trip to the World Series.

    In 1993, Bonds left the Pirates to sign a lucrative free agent contract worth a then-record $43.75 million over 6 years with the Giants, with whom his father spent the first 7 years of his career. That season, Bonds hit .336, and led the league with 46 home runs and 123 RBI. Unfortunately, as good as the Giants were, winning 103 games, the Braves were 1 game better.

    In 1994, at the strike, Bonds was on a tear, hitting .312 with 37 home runs, was leading the league in walks. In 1995 Bonds hit 33 homers and drove in 104 runners, along with a .294 batting average, but he finished 12th in the MVP voting.

    In 1996, Bonds became the first National League player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season. He also drove in 129 runs with a .308 average, and walked a then-National League record 151 times. During the season, he also joined the very exclusive 300 homer/300 stolen base club, with fellow members Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, and his own father, Bobby Bonds. In 1997, Bonds hit .291, his lowest number since 1989, but his other numbers were very impressive. He hit 40 home runs for the second straight year and drove in 101 runs. That year he led the league in walks again with 145, just 6 off his NL record of a year before. He tied his father in 1997 for having the most 30/30 seasons.

    In 1998, Bonds got off to a very rocky start, and some were starting to wonder if Barry was beginning to age. By season's end however, he put those notions to rest. He hit .303 with 37 home runs and drove in 122 runs, winning his 8th Gold Glove, and became the first player ever to have 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases. Yet, he placed 8th in the MVP voting, likely due to baseball's home run fever in 1998, led by the McGwire/Sosa home run chase.

    Throughout the decade of the 1990s, Bonds was an exceptionally patient hitter and a great slugger who stole bases and played Gold Glove defense. Bill James ranked Bonds as the best player of the 1990s, noting that his selection for the 1990s' 2nd-best player (Craig Biggio) had been closer in production to the decade's 10th-best player than he was to Bonds.

    [edit] Resurgence

    In 1999, with only statistics through 1997 being considered, Bonds ranked Number 31 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, making him the highest-ranking active player. When the Sporting News list was redone in 2005, Bonds jumped up 28 spaces to Number 6 All Time, behind only Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and Hank Aaron. However, while Bonds was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team that year, Griffey was actually elected to it. That same year, baseball historian and sabermetrician Bill James wrote of Bonds, "Certainly the most un-appreciated superstar of my lifetime... Griffey has always been more popular, but Bonds has been a far, far greater player." As of 1999, James rated Bonds as the 16th best player of all time, even though his career was far from complete. "When people begin to take in all of his accomplishments", James predicted, "Bonds may well be rated among the five greatest players in the history of the game." By the year 2000 Bonds was already regarded as a surefire Hall of Famer, but it was in the beginning of the next millennium when Bonds would surpass his peers and reach a level of offensive production that only a select few in the history of the game have achieved. In 1999, he hit 34 home runs in just 355 at-bats in just 102 games. In 2000, at age 36, Bonds hit .306, with a slugging percentage of .688 (career best at that time), and hit 49 home runs in just 143 games (also a career high to that point), while collecting a league-leading 117 walks. He had started off that season even hotter, hitting 28 home runs and slugging over .730 at the All-Star break, but some minor injuries on the season quieted him down somewhat. The next year, however, he would make his 2000 season look pathetic by comparison. Barry Bonds put on an offensive show in 2001. In his team's first 50 games, he'd already hit 28 home runs, ending the season with 73 home runs, a new major league record. He hit 39 home runs by the All-star break (ML record), hit a home run every 6.52 at-bats (ML record-McGwire in '98 hit one every 7.2), drew 177 walks (ML record at the time), and had a .515 on-base percentage, a feat not seen since Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams some 40+ years before him. He also had an ML record and absolutely absurd .863 slugging percentage (411 total bases in just 476 at-bats), and his OPS (on-base+slugging) was miniscule percentage points behind Babe Ruth in 1920 for the highest of all time. In 2002, he didn't stop. He hit 46 home runs, but he did that in just 403 at-bats in only 143 games. He hit a career high .370, struck out only 47 times, and despite playing in 9 fewer games than the season before, he shattered his own walks record, drawing 198, with a ML record 68 intentional. He slugged .799, at the time the 4th highest total all time. And he broke Ted Williams' ML record for on-base%, with a staggering .583. He also broke Ruth's OPS record this season by 2 points. And, he hit his 600th home run, less than a year and a half after hitting his 500th.

    A little more injury-plagued in 2003, Bonds played in just 130 games, though he still won his 3rd straight MVP. He hit 45 home runs in just 390 at-bats, along with a .341 batting average. He slugged .749, walked 148 times, and had an on-base % well over .500 for the 3rd straight year. He also turned himself into the charter and only member of the 500 home run/500 stolen base club. Finally, in 2004, Bonds had what was arguably his best season. He hit .362, and broke his own walks record again, walking 232 times. He slugged .812, 4th highest all time, and broke his on-base % record by becoming the first person to have an on-base % over .600. He also broke his OPS record. He passed his godfather, Willie Mays, on the all-time home run list, then hit his 700th home run near the end of the season. He hit 45 home runs in just 373 at-bats, and struck out just 41 times, putting him in elite company, as few people have ever had more home runs than strikeouts in a season.

    In the new millennium, MLB was shrouded with the controversy of steroids. Even though Bonds has never tested positive, suspicion was cast. During an investigation of BALCO Laboratories, Bonds' grand jury testimony was illegally leaked and obtained by the media. In the testimony he allegedly admitted he may have unknowingly been given "the clear" and "the cream", when he was told the substances were flaxseed oil. This ignited much media speculation on Bonds in relation to the BALCO investigation.

    [edit] 2005 injury problems

    On March 22, 2005, Bonds announced that he could be sidelined for the rest of the 2005 season because of surgery on his knee. At the press conference, Bonds also indicated that he was frustrated by the focus on his alleged steroid use and the negative portrayal of him in the media. Later, Bonds sounded positive about his rehabilitation and told fans at the Opening Day festivities, "I will be back!" The chances of Bonds' return to the playing field were covered relentlessly throughout the summer by ESPN, in anticipation of potentially unprecedented scrutiny by the media and baseball fans (baseball had toughened its steroid-testing program since Bonds had last played and Bonds was tested regularly even though he did not play). On May 4, Bonds revealed on his website that he had undergone a third arthroscopic knee surgery because of a bacterial infection in his knee. This setback led many to assume that Bonds would not play in the 2005 season, and in the process raised much speculation as to whether Hank Aaron's career home run record of 755 would ultimately be out of Bonds' reach.

    On August 1, in an interview with MLB.com, Bonds stated that he would most likely not return before the end of the 2005 season, due to continued buildup of fluid in the knee. On August 5, though, he stated on his website that while he was unsure of his status, he remained optimistic. In September, Bonds started working out with the team while they were in Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. On September 10, the Giants announced that Bonds would be activated on September 12. He was indeed activated that day, and immediately returned to being a starter in left field. In his return against the San Diego Padres, he nearly hit a home run in his first at-bat, but the ball was ruled to be only a double due to fan interference. Bonds finished the night 1-for-4 with a double. Upon his return, Bonds mostly continued his pre-injury dominance at the plate, hitting home runs in four consecutive games from September 18 to September 21 and finishing with five in only 14 games.

    [edit] 2006 season

    A sign counts up to Barry Bonds' 714th home run
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    A sign counts up to Barry Bonds' 714th home run

    On February 19, 2006, Bonds announced in an interview with USA Today that he planned on retiring at the conclusion of the 2006 season, with or without the all-time home run record. "I've never cared about records anyway", he said, "so what difference does it make? Right now, I'm telling you, I don't even want to play next year. Baseball is a fun sport. But I'm not having fun...I love the game of baseball itself, but I don't like what it's turned out to be. I'm not mad at anybody. It's just that right now I am not proud to be a baseball player."[2]

    On March 9, 2006, after his first game of the preseason with the San Francisco Giants, Bonds said that he would know around the All-Star Break and in a time period ranging from July to August 2006, whether or not he would be returning for the 2007 MLB season.

    Bonds started the 2006 season with a slump. Bonds hit under .200 for his first 10 games of the season. Bonds didn't hit a home run until April 22; it was his biggest home run slump since the 1998 season. Throughout May, June, July, and early August, Bonds continued with sub-par offensive performance, although as his chronic injuries began to bother him less and less as the season went on, his defensive performance improved. In August, he made several running and leaping catches of a sort that had become rare for him during recent seasons.

    Then, in late August, Bonds began an offensive surge, hitting 10 home runs in 25 starts from August 21 through September 23, and lifting his batting average 40 points in the same stretch. On August 20 Bonds' batting average fell to .235, his lowest average since early May. From then to September 23, Bonds could look back to a full month on an offensive tear: a .400 batting average (34 hits in 85 official at-bats), a .800 slugging percentage, with 10 home runs, 6 doubles and 26 runs batted in, along with 19 walks and only 8 strikeouts. Although media talk about the unlikelihood of Bonds' being re-signed by the Giants for the 2007 season had grown through the season and into August, the tenor of speculation abruptly turned around with many commentators concluding that it would be difficult to ignore the late-season contribution by Bonds that was keeping the Giants in the pennant race.

    In 2006, Bonds recorded his lowest slugging percentage (a statistic that he has historically ranked among league leaders season after season) since 1991 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    In a 2005 interview with MLB.com, Bonds stated that he could play into 2007 if he remains healthy and if he is close to Aaron's 755 home runs, although he also noted that he might retire before then if he is able to win a World Series title. [3] Bonds' current total, as of the end of the 2006 MLB season, is 734. With his 733rd and 734th career home runs, hit respectively on September 22 and 23, 2006, Bonds tied and then passed Henry Aaron's National League career record in Milwaukee, the city where Aaron's career began and ended.

    [edit] Achievements

    [edit] Home runs

    • On April 12, 2004, Bonds hit his 660th home run, tying him with his godfather Willie Mays for 3rd on the all-time career home run list (and second in the National League) in a game against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Matt Kinney at SBC Park. Larry Ellison caught the home run and returned it to Bonds. He hit his 661st home run at the same venue the next day, placing him in outright third behind Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755). Ellison also caught number 661 in McCovey Cove just past the right field stands in SBC Park, but kept it for himself with Bonds's blessing.
    • Bonds hit his 715th career home run on May 28, 2006, off of Byung-Hyun Kim of the Colorado Rockies to pass Babe Ruth's career total of 714 and move into second place behind Aaron's career total of 755.

    [edit] Home runs and Stolen Bases

    • On June 23, 2003, Bonds recorded his 500th stolen base in the eleventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Pacific Bell Park. Bonds later scored the winning run. By chance, his ailing father Bobby was in attendance that night. With 633 career home runs at the time, Bonds became the first 500-500 player in baseball history.
    • Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds are the only players in major league history to hit 300 home runs and steal 400 bases, and are the only two players to have five 30-30 seasons.

    [edit] Walks

    • Bonds holds almost every major league record in existence for intentional walks: four in a nine-inning game (2004), 120 in a season (2004) and 604 in his career (more than the next two players on the all-time list, Hank Aaron and Willie McCovey, combined). Bonds has the top three highest single-season intentional walk totals, with 120 in 2004 (he broke his previous record of 68 intentional walks on July 10 in his last plate appearance before the All-Star break), 68 in 2002, and 61 in 2003. He has been the league leader in the category for 13 of the past 14 seasons. Oddly, though, he did not lead in 2001, when he hit a record 73 home runs, finishing with 35. Sammy Sosa led the NL with 37.
    • On May 28, 1998, Bonds became one of only four players in major league history to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded, when the Arizona Diamondbacks elected to give up a run and face catcher Brent Mayne instead.
    • In 2001, Bonds set the single-season mark for walks (177). In 2002, Bonds bettered his own record for walks with 198. In 2004, he broke his own single-season record for walks, becoming the first player with over 200 in a season and ending the season with 232. His total of 232 walks was 105 more than the next closest leader, Lance Berkman, Todd Helton, and Bobby Abreu who all had 127.

    [edit] Other records

    • In 1998, Bonds tied John Olerud for the National League record of 15 consecutive plate appearances reaching base. He tied this record again in 2003.
    • In 2001, Bonds's slugging percentage of (.863) set a single-season record. He also slugged .812 in 2004, only the second time in history that a player has bettered .800 twice (Babe Ruth was the other, with .847 in 1920 and .846 in 1921, respectively).
    • In 2002, Bonds amassed a .582 on-base percentage, breaking Ted Williams' 1941 record of .551. In 2004, Bonds finished with a .609 OBP, the only time a player has bettered .600 over a full season.
    • In 2002, Bonds won the National League batting title with a .370 average, becoming the oldest player to win the honor for the first time. In 2004, he won his second batting title with a .362 average.
    • During the 2002 post-season, Bonds set the record for most home runs hit in a single post-season (8). Bonds hit .471 with 4 home runs and 13 walks (seven intentional) in the World Series, thereby slugging 1.294 with a .700 on-base percentage. All but the batting average were World Series records.
    • In 2004, Bonds set the single-season OPS record with a total of 1.422.
    • In 2004, Bonds became the first player in history with more times on base (376) than official times at bat (373). This was due to the record number of walks, which count as a time on base but not a time at bat. He had 135 hits, 232 walks, and 9 hit-by-pitches for the 376 number.
    • Bonds has the most trading cards issued of him than any other athlete in the world. According to an October 31 search on Beckett Online, the site catalogued 10,306 cards.

    [edit] Chasing the all-time home run record

    On May 7, 2006, Bonds drew within one home run of tying Babe Ruth for second place, hitting his 713th career home run into the second level of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, off pitcher Jon Lieber in an ESPN nationally-televised game in which the Giants lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. The towering home run, which was one of the longest in Citizens Bank Park's two season history, traveling an estimated 450 feet, hit off the facade of the third deck in right field and was Bonds' first pulled home run of the 2006 season. Curiously, and perhaps revealingly, the jeers from the Philadelphia crowd that had haunted Bonds earlier that night turned noticeably into cheers as he completed his swing, watched the flight of the ball, rounded the bases, and touched home plate, all this to flashbulbs exploding everywhere throughout the stands. The mixed and often paradoxical reaction to Bonds' impending achievement exemplifies the polarizing effect of his controversial career on baseball aficionados and casual observers alike. Some have ventured to say that while many fans hate Bonds, they all come to the park to see him play.

    On May 9, 2006 in a game against the Chicago Cubs, Bonds hit what appeared to be his 714th home run. However, Cubs outfielder Juan Pierre leaped up at the wall and prevented him from tying Ruth's record.

    On May 20, 2006, Bonds tied Ruth, hitting his 714th career home run to deep right field to lead off the top of the 2nd inning with a 1-1 count. The home run came off of left handed pitcher Brad Halsey of the Oakland A's, in an interleague game played in Oakland, California at the McAfee Coliseum (formerly known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum or the Oakland Coliseum). Since this was an interleague game at an American League stadium, Bonds was batting as the designated hitter in the cleanup spot in the lineup for the Giants. The Bambino's 714 mark was tied by Bonds who hits left handed, the pitcher Halsey pitches left handed, and the fan who caught it, Tyler Snyder is left handed; all this to tie arguably the best left handed hitter in history. Echoing the comment Aaron made when he reached the 715 mark 32 years earlier. However, like Aaron, Bonds needed more at bats to break the record. Bonds was quoted after the game as being "just glad it's over with" and stated that more attention could be focused on Albert Pujols, the heir apparent to Bonds. Bonds went 1 for 3 with 2 walks, a run and an RBI for the day in a 4-2 victory over the Athletics as designated hitter batting cleanup.

    The concession stand where home run # 715 was hit in center field
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    The concession stand where home run # 715 was hit in center field

    On May 28, 2006, Bonds passed Ruth, hitting his 715th career home run to center field off of Colorado Rockies pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim.[4] It came on a 3-2 pitch, with one man on base, in the bottom of the fourth inning of the final game of a home stand at AT&T Park. The ball was hit an estimated 445 feet into center field where it went through the hands of several fans but then fell onto an elevated platform in center field. Then it rolled off the platform where Andrew Morbitzer, a 38-year-old San Francisco resident, caught the ball while he was in line at a concession stand. Mysteriously, broadcaster Dave Flemming's radio play-by-play of the home run went silent just as the ball was hit, apparently from a microphone failure. But the televised version, called by Duane Kuiper, was not affected. This historic home run was not officially celebrated by MLB; however, the Giants organization unfurled two large banners from light standards alongside the scoreboard in center field to honor the event. And as Bonds took his position in left field at the top of the fifth inning, Ed Montague, the long-time National League and MLB umpire and crew chief who was officiating at second base for this game, approached Bonds to congratulate him, and the two hugged. Bonds went 2 for 3 with a walk, run scored and two RBI for the day in a 6-3 loss to the Rockies while batting cleanup and playing left field.

    On September 22, 2006, Bonds tied Henry Aaron's National League career home run record of 733. The home run came in the top of the 6th inning of a high-scoring game against the Milwaukee Brewers, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The achievement was notable for its occurrence in the very city where Aaron began (with the Milwaukee Braves) and concluded (with the Brewers, then in the American League) his career. With the Giants trailing 10-8, Bonds hit a blast to deep center field on a 2-0 pitch off of the Brewers' Chris Spurling with runners on first and second and one out. Though the Giants were at the time clinging to only a faint chance at making the playoffs, Bonds' home run provided the additional drama of giving the Giants an 11-10 lead late in a critical game in the final days of a pennant race. The Brewers eventually won the game, 13-12, despite Bonds' going 3 for 5, with 2 doubles, the record-tying home run, and 6 runs batted in.

    On the following day, September 23, 2006, Bonds went past Aaron for the NL career home run record. Hit in Milwaukee like the previous one, this was a solo home run off Chris Capuano of the Brewers, and it came on a 1-0 count with 1 out in the 3rd inning of the game. This was his last home run hit in 2006.

    [edit] Salary

    Bonds re-signed with the Giants for a five-year, $90 million contract in January 2002. His salary for the 2005 season was $22 million, the second-highest salary in Major League Baseball (the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez earned the highest, $25.2 million). In 2006 Bonds will earn $20 million (not including bonuses), the fourth highest salary in baseball. Not including the 2006 season, he has made approximately $153 million during his 19-year career, making him one of baseball's highest paid players.

    [edit] Controversy

    [edit] The BALCO Scandal

    Barry Bonds on the March 13, 2006 cover of Sports Illustrated
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    Barry Bonds on the March 13, 2006 cover of Sports Illustrated

    In 2003, Bonds became embroiled in a scandal when Greg Anderson of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, Bonds' trainer since 2000, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and charged with supplying anabolic steroids to athletes, including a number of baseball players. This led to speculation that Bonds had used performance-enhancing drugs during a time when there was no mandatory testing in Major League Baseball. Bonds declared his innocence, attributing his changed physique and increased power to a strict regimen of bodybuilding and legitimate dietary supplements.

    During grand jury testimony on December 4, 2003 — which was obtained through unknown means by the San Francisco Chronicle (leaking grand jury testimony is a felony) and published almost a year later, on December 3, 2004 — Bonds allegedly said Anderson gave him a rubbing balm and a liquid substance that Anderson said was arthritis cream and flaxseed oil, respectively.[5] The prosecutors contended that what Bonds was actually given was "the cream" and "the clear", which are both forms of the designer steroid THG.

    In August 2005, all four defendants in the BALCO steroid scandal trial, including Anderson, struck deals with federal prosecutors that did not require them to reveal names of athletes who may have used banned drugs.

    [edit] Perjury Investigation

     This article documents a current event.
    Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

    On April 13, 2006, CNN reported that federal investigators were looking into whether or not Bonds committed perjury during his 2003 grand jury testimony relating to the BALCO steroids scandal (see "The BALCO Scandal", above).[6] In the time since CNN broke the story, other news sources, including the San Francisco Chronicle and ESPN, have reported it, as well. According to these sources, the United States Attorney's Office in San Francisco has brought evidence before another grand jury to determine if Bonds should be indicted. Before testifying to the original grand jury (in 2003), witnesses were told that they could not be charged with any crime other than perjury based on their testimony.

    On July 5, 2006, Greg Anderson was found in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge William Alsup for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating perjury accusations against Bonds. Anderson was denied bail and immediately sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California. Anderson's attorney, Mark Geragos, said he would file an appeal based on his assertion that the subpoena to testify violated Anderson's plea bargain agreement in the BALCO case.[7]

    On July 11, 2006, it was reported that MLB officials expected Bonds to be indicted on perjury and tax evasion charges as early as one week from that day.[8]

    On July 20, 2006 the grand jury investigating the incident retired without issuing an indictment. Bond's trainer, Greg Anderson, was immediately released and promptly subpoenaed to testify before a new grand jury that will take up the case.[9] Anderson's attorney, Mark Geragos, stated that his client will continue to refuse to testify, meaning that Anderson could very well be jailed again for contempt of court and held for as long as the new grand jury's term lasts, which could extend beyond a year.

    On July 22, 2006, it was reported that federal prosecutors had obtained Barry Bonds’ medical files as part of their investigation into whether the slugger perjured himself when he said he never knowingly used steroids. U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan had said he had postponed his decision on whether to seek an indictment of Bonds "in light of some recent developments", and the receipt of the medical records was apparently one of those developments. The records are believed to include information about three operations Bonds had last season to treat his right knee, as well as a serious elbow injury that required surgery in 1999. Bonds’ former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, testified that Bonds blamed the elbow injury on steroid use. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, prosecutors had subpoenaed the documents nearly two months ago, but Bonds’ attorneys went to federal court to stop the government from obtaining the records.[10]

    On August 17, 2006, Greg Anderson again refused to testify before the grand jury investigating Bonds. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered Anderson to return to court August 28 for a contempt hearing. In requesting the hearing, prosecutors for the first time publicly acknowledged they are targeting Bonds.[11]

    On August 28, 2006, Greg Anderson was held in contempt of court and sent to federal prison for a second time for refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury investigating Bonds. U.S. District Judge William Alsup said Anderson had provided no legal justification for refusing to tell the grand jury on Aug. 17 whether he had supplied steroids to Bonds or other athletes, or even whether he knew Bonds. Mark Geragos, Anderson's lawyer, said he would file an appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.[12]

    On October 5, 2006, Greg Anderson was ordered released from prison after 37 days. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered his release because the federal appeals court hadn't affirmed the contempt order within the required 30 days after Anderson was jailed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal had sent the contempt order back to Judge Alsup, thus delaying any ruling. The main contention of Anderson's appeal is that a secret, illegally-recorded tape of him discussing Bonds' steroid use is the basis for the grand jury questions he refuses to answer. Prosecutors, however, say the tape is legal and was made in a face-to-face meeting with Anderson. Although Alsup dismissed Anderson's tape claim and others, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal sent Anderson's appeal back to the judge, saying Alsup's ruling regarding the tape was not clear enough. In clarifying his order, Alsup said he agreed with prosecutors that there was ample evidence beyond the tape to question Anderson. Prosecutors have also said the questions they want answered are based on athletes' secret testimony in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case and a search of Anderson's house that turned up drug records, some with Bonds' name on it. Other than the tape dispute, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had rejected the merits of Anderson's appeal.[13] In November, after the order was clarified, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear Anderson's argument that his "entire grand jury process was tainted" because the government let the grand jury hear the tape. If the appeals court agrees that the tape unfairly contributed to Anderson's guilty plea, his conviction could be thrown out, even though Anderson already completed his three-month sentence. In the disputed tape recording, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Anderson reportedly told an unidentified person that Bonds was using drugs that could not be detected. Alsup, who has read a transcript of the tape, called it "as worthless a piece of evidence as I've ever seen", according to newspaper reports. [14][15]

    On November 16, 2006, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Greg Anderson's appeal and ruled that he must return to prison for refusing to testify before the grand jury investigation Bonds. The court ordered him to report to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin by November 20. The San Francisco-based appeals court agreed with U.S. District Judge William Alsup, ruling there was ample evidence beyond the tape to justify the grand jury's interest in questioning Anderson about Bonds.[16]

    [edit] Players' Union

    Bonds withdrew from the MLB Players Association's (MLBPA) licensing agreement because he felt independent marketing deals would be more economically viable for him, which would've allowed his name and likeness in any merchandise licensed by the MLBPA. In order to use his name or likeness, a company must deal with Barry himself. For this reason he does not appear in some baseball video games, forcing game-makers to create generic athletes to replace him. For example, in MVP Baseball 2005 Barry Bonds's likeness is replaced by a white man with a beard named Jon Dowd.

    [edit] Bonds on Bonds

    Main article: Bonds on Bonds

    In April of 2006, ESPN premiered a new 10-part reality TV series starring Bonds. The show, titled Bonds on Bonds, revolves on the life of Bonds and his chase of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron's home run records, but has mostly been met with public indifference. It is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions, producers of the Nickelodeon series All That and many other shows and movies. Currently, this show is on hiatus.

    The first segment of Bonds on Bonds, aired Tuesday, April 4 nationwide on ESPN2. Much of the premiere episode dealt with how Bonds has coped with questions about whether steroids have fueled his athletic performance. At one point, Bonds even started to break down in tears. "If it makes them happy to go out of their way to try to destroy me, go right ahead. You can't hurt me any more than you've already hurt me", he said. He continued by saying, "You don't see me bringing anyone else into this. I'm going to take it myself." Bonds paused as his eyes welled and he choked back tears, "And I'm going to take it because there's so many people who depend on me."

    In different segments throughout the program, Bonds acknowledged his often rocky relations with the press but cast himself as a victim of critics out to tear him down. He described himself as "mentally and emotionally drained" but insisted he was not going to let anyone "bring me down."

    In June, 2006, ESPN and producer Tollin/Robbins Productions officially pulled the plug on the reality series, citing "creative control" issues with star Barry Bonds and his representatives. No other details about the decision were given. "Bonds on Bonds" had been absent from the network's schedule since May 30, and given its poor ratings, the decision to cancel the show was hardly surprising, especially when coupled with the creative issues.

    [edit] Love Me, Hate Me

    In May of 2006, former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman released a scathing unauthorized biography of Bonds entitled Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Anti-Hero. Though obscured by Game of Shadows, the book offered a rare insight into Bonds. Perhaps most noteworthy were the alleged details of his three years at Arizona State University, during which time Bonds was voted off the team by a 22-2 margin by teammates. The vote came after head coach Jim Brock had suspended Bonds for violating multiple team rules. "I'd never seen the expression on Jim Brock's face that I saw right there", ASU hitting coach Jeff Pentland told Pearlman. "Absolute shock. It was obviously a plan to have the vote come out in favor of Barry, and it backfired." Brock overruled his players and allowed Bonds back.

    Love Me, Hate Me also provided the insight of Jay Canizaro, a former Giants second baseman who told Pearlman that Bonds had begun using steroids after the 1998 baseball season. Canizaro, who admitted to have used steroids while at Oklahoma State, said Bonds reported to spring training with remarkable additional muscle, an acne-coated back and a new trainer--Greg Anderson. According to Love Me, Hate Me, Canizaro approached Anderson and asked what Bonds was using. "He was calling out Deca-Durabolin and testosterone and all different things that were steroids and hormones", said Canizaro. "Then he told me he could easily put a cocktail together for me, too."[17]

    [edit] Future

    Bonds' future as a member of the Giants has been in question as of late. On December 1, 2006, the Giants declined to offer arbitration to Bonds, possibly paving the way for Bonds to enter the free agent market. Bonds' agent Jeff Borris said that signing Bonds was not a priority for the Giants. Both the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres have expressed interest in signing Bonds.[18]

    [edit] Accomplishments

    • Record for most home runs in a season (73)
    • 2nd all time for career home runs (734)
    • Record for most walks in a career (2,424)
    • 7-Time NL MVP (1990, 1992-93, 2001-04)
    • 5-time SF Giants Player of the Year (1998, 2001-04)
    • 13-Time All-Star (1990, 1992-98, 2000-04)
    • 7-Time Baseball America NL All-Star OF (1993, 1998, 2000-04)
    • 3-Time Major League Player of the Year (1990, 2001, 2004)
    • 3-Time Baseball America MLB Player of the Year (2001, 2003-04)
    • 8-Time Gold Glove winner for NL Outfielder (1990-94, 1996-98)
    • 12-Time Silver Slugger winner for NL Outfielder (1990-94, 1996-97, 2000-04)
    • Led the Major Leagues in home runs (1993, 2001)
    • Led the NL in batting average (2002, 2004)
    • Led the NL in on base percentage (1991-93, 1995, 2001-04, 2006)
    • Led the Major Leagues in slugging percentage (1990, 1992-93, 2001-04)
    • Led the Major Leagues in extra base hits (1992-93, 2001)
    • Led the Major Leagues in on base percentage (1992, 2001-04)
    • Led the NL in runs (1992)
    • Led the NL in RBIs (1993)
    • Led the NL in walks (1992, 1994-97, 2000-04, 2006)
    • Led the NL in intentional walks (1992-98, 2002-04, 2006)
    • Led the NL in runs created (1992-93, 2001-02, 2004)
    • Led the Major Leagues in total bases (1993, with 365)
    • Led the Major Leagues in runs created (1993, 2001-02, 2004)
    • Led the NL in games (1995)
    • Led the NL in extra base hits (1992-93, 2001)
    • Led the NL in at bats per home run (1992-93, 1996, 2000-04)
    • 3-Time NL Hank Aaron Award winner (2001-02, 2004)
    • Led the Major Leagues in batting average (2002, with .370)
    • Listed at # 6 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranked active player, in 2005.
    • Named a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999, but not elected to the team in the fan balloting.
    • Rating of 345 on Baseball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame monitor (100 is a good HOF candidate); 9th among all hitters, highest among hitters not in HOF yet. [2]

    [edit] Career statistics (through 2006)

       
    Year Ag Tm  Lg   G   AB   R   H  2B 3B HR RBI SB CS  BB  SO  BA   OBP  SLG TB  SH SF IBB HBP GDP   
    +---+--+---+--++---++---+---+---+--+--+--+---+--+--+---+---+----+----+----+---+--+--+---+---+---+   
    1986 22 PIT NL  113  413  72  92 26  3 16  48 36  7  65 102 .223 .330 .416 172  2  2   2  2   4   
    1987 23 PIT NL  150  551  99 144 34  9 25  59 32 10  54  88 .261 .329 .492 271  0  3   3  3   4   
    1988 24 PIT NL  144  538  97 152 30  5 24  58 17 11  72  82 .283 .368 .491 264  0  2  14  2   3   
    1989 25 PIT NL  159  580  96 144 34  6 19  58 32 10  93  93 .248 .351 .426 247  1  4  22  1   9   
    1990 26 PIT NL  151  519 104 156 32  3 33 114 52 13  93  83 .301 .406 .565 293  0  6  15  3   8   
    1991 27 PIT NL  153  510  95 149 28  5 25 116 43 13 107  73 .292 .410 .514 262  0 13  25  4   8   
    1992 28 PIT NL  140  473 109 147 36  5 34 103 39  8 127  69 .311 .456 .624 295  0  7  32  5   9   
    1993 29 SFG NL  159  539 129 181 38  4 46 123 29 12 126  79 .336 .458 .677 365  0  7  43  2  11   
    1994 30 SFG NL  112  391  89 122 18  1 37  81 29  9  74  43 .312 .426 .647 253  0  3  18  6   3   
    1995 31 SFG NL  144  506 109 149 30  7 33 104 31 10 120  83 .294 .431 .577 292  0  4  22  5  12   
    1996 32 SFG NL  158  517 122 159 27  3 42 129 40  7 151  76 .308 .461 .615 318  0  6  30  1  11   
    1997 33 SFG NL  159  532 123 155 26  5 40 101 37  8 145  87 .291 .446 .585 311  0  5  34  8  13   
    1998 34 SFG NL  156  552 120 167 44  7 37 122 28 12 130  92 .303 .438 .609 336  1  6  29  8  15   
    1999 35 SFG NL  102  355  91  93 20  2 34  83 15  2  73  62 .262 .389 .617 219  0  3   9  3   6   
    2000 36 SFG NL  143  480 129 147 28  4 49 106 11  3 117  77 .306 .440 .688 330  0  7  22  3   6   
    2001 37 SFG NL  153  476 129 156 32  2 73 137 13  3 177  93 .328 .515 .863 411  0  2  35  9   5   
    2002 38 SFG NL  143  403 117 149 31  2 46 110  9  2 198  47 .370 .582 .799 322  0  2  68  9   4    
    2003 39 SFG NL  130  390 111 133 22  1 45  90  7  0 148  58 .341 .529 .749 292  0  2  61 10   7   
    2004 40 SFG NL  147  373 129 135 27  3 45 101  6  1 232  41 .362 .609 .812 303  0  3 120  9   5   
    2005 41 SFG NL   14   42   8  12  1  0  5  10  0  0   9   6 .286 .404 .667  28  0  1   3  0   0
    2006 42 SFG NL  130  367  74  99 23  0 26  77  3  0 115  51 .270 .454 .545 200  0  1  38 10   9
    +---+--+---+--++---++---+---+---+--+--+--+---+--+--+---+---+----+----+----+---+--+--+---+---+---+   
    

    [edit] See also

    [edit] References

    1. ^ For a detailed sabermetric comparison with Babe Ruth, see Nate Silver, "Is Barry Bonds Better than Babe Ruth?" in Jonah Keri, Ed., Baseball Between the Numbers (New York: Basic Books, 2006): xvii-xlii.
    2. ^ Bonds: 'I'm not playing baseball anymore after this' February 19, 2006
    3. ^ Bonds could play in 2007 to catch Aaron June 23, 2005
    4. ^ Bonds hits No. 715, passes Ruth as Giants fall to RockiesMay 28, 2006
    5. ^ What Bonds told BALCO grand juryDecember 3, 2004
    6. ^ Sources: Grand jury looking at whether Bonds lied about steroid useApril 14, 2006
    7. ^ Bonds' Trainer Sent to Prison July 6, 2006
    8. ^ Report: MLB expects Bonds to be indicted soonJuly 12, 2006
    9. ^ New grand jury to look at Bonds allegations July 21, 2006
    10. ^ Report: Feds obtained medical records for Barry BondsJuly 22, 2006
    11. ^ Bonds' trainer won't talk August 17, 2006
    12. ^ Anderson ordered back to prison August 28, 2006
    13. ^ Judge orders Barry Bonds' trainer freed
    14. ^ Coach indicted; Bonds' pal wins
    15. ^ Conviction may be overturned
    16. ^ Bonds' trainer ordered jailed again
    17. ^ "Love me, Hate Me" website
    18. ^ "Giants decline to offer arbitration to Bonds", AP, 2006-12-02. Retrieved on 2006-12-02.

    [edit] External links

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