America’s federal government completed its fourth day of prosecuting former Giants slugger Barry Bonds on Thursday…attempting to nail him on charges that he lied to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs while he played Major League Baseball.
The trial is expected to last four weeks, and will conclude an eight-year pursuit of the slugger. Various reports have the cost of the investigation ranging from $10 million to $50 million dollars. Former Bonds trainer Greg Anderson has been jailed five different times for refusing to testify. Numerous former Bonds associates have been questioned and will be called to testify in the trial, all at complete cost to the American taxpayer.
Bonds is one of the most contemptible people I’ve ever run across or heard about. He has a loathsome demeanor. He’s rude to those around him, and for all his accomplishments, he brought a joyless aura to the ballpark. But, he was a baseball player. His job was to hit home runs and catch a ball. If Barry Bonds had been an Enron executive who gutted the retirement plans of thousands of employees, or a government official who advocated a war based upon intelligence he knew was false, I could understand this.
The U.S. government is in danger of being shut down because there isn’t enough money to go around for everyone. A quick Google news search for “U.S. Government cuts” shows us that 7,500 postal service jobs are going to be cut because of a lack of funds, Medicare needs financial help, and the federal deficit will hit $14.3 trillion in the next couple of months.
Bonds is done as a baseball player. If he goes to jail, he’ll cost U.S. taxpayers even more money. We know he did steroids, and we know he lied about it. Bonds has been permanently stained by his actions. He won’t make the Hall of Fame, and he’ll never be a beloved figure.
Federal prosecutors won’t do it now, but long ago should have issued a release that said “overwhelming evidence shows that Barry Bonds took steroids during his baseball career, and then lied about it to a Federal Grand Jury. While we are convinced that Bonds is guilty, in the interest of saving taxpayers’ money, we will drop the charges against him now…with the knowledge that we would have won a court case had we pursued it.”
That would have been the thing to do. The first dollar spent on this investigation of a baseball player was a waste of money, and every dollar since was, too. Bonds is a bad guy, but our government has better things to do with our money than pursue him and put him in jail.