Who Watches the Watchmen?
First, I am just flabbergasted by how journalists who say that "I" or "we" who still say that evidence has not been found that Bonds used steroids are blind to his faults when they themselves are blind. Case in point, Susan Slusser, whose writing I normally like.
I have to quote from her Sunday article: "Frank Thomas is 52 homers shy of 500, and he is one of the few sluggers of the past decade and a half who is untainted by performance-enhancement speculation. Because he's been a behemoth since his days playing football at Auburn, there hasn't been any sudden weight gain that can arouse suspicion in a player."
How could she have written that with a straight face? Hello, all the talk about teenagers taking steroids in high school, he could have gained all his suspcious weight before he played at Auburn. And football in the 80's, steroids were probably all over the place, Lyle Alzado said he was doing it around then. At least she then quote his high school coach as saying that he's always been like that, but really, does she think that middle school students were not taking back then either? This is football we're talking about, not baseball, and they were more likely to be regulars at the gym where you can get your cocktail sans steroid, particularly HGH which appears to be the PED of choice among the smarter ones because it is so far undetectable.
And look at Thomas. He has been affected by one injury or another for the past whatever years, very injury prone, his body seems to be failing him. And just because he said that he hasn't used and everything, look at Palmeiro, he said he didn't use either. And not to knock Thomas, he is clean as far as I know, but these are all signs that a non-fan would use to say, "see, there's some smoke there." Same as many has and still do with Bonds.
And again, I'm not saying Bonds is clean, I've finally been worn down by everything and think that he probably used, but I'm going to join the lynch mob until I get good proof that I can believe, not stories that a jilted woman who wants money has told to two journalists who was ready to listen to anything that fits their story.
The Logic is Not There
One of the interesting facts that I read in the excerpts is one from the mistress, Bell. She said that Bonds was very concerned about his place in history, that he didn't want his "secret" to get out. Well, most people doing something illegal generally don't want the secret to get out, kind of messes things up because, well, they're illegal.
OK, add to that this point: raise your hand if you think Bonds is very suspicious and paranoid about the press, and generally angry at them? I think most of us Giants fans would agree that is true. So if he had a secret, he would do anything to keep it from the press.
In addition, it appears that Bonds is very controlling. I think the Sheffield interview revealed that Bonds often overruled his trainer, Greg Anderson, or worse, show him up and correct him as he was working with Sheffield. Bell also noted that Bonds was not very happy when she did not do as she was told by him (again, assuming she is telling the truth here).
Lastly, most close observers of him have said that he is very intelligent. I would agree, from the interviews I have seen or heard him, he has been articulate, thoughtful, intelligent, very charming.
When I mix those together - intelligent, paranoid, controlling, don't want his secret to get out - I don't get a story where Anderson would have a bill naming Bonds purchasing illegal drugs or a folder naming Bonds and his drug schedule or Bonds cheerfully advertising for BALCO or even Bonds telling his mistress about his steroid usage woes. I see Bonds warning Anderson to never have anything remotely associating him with BALCO and the drugs he was taking, I see Bonds warning Anderson to not have a schedule with "BLB" on it, I see Bonds refusing to advertise anything for BALCO, I see Bonds telling his mistress nothing that can ever get out on him, because loose lips sinks ships. That's what a paranoid would do.
Not that intelligent people with big egos never make mistakes, some think that they can do anything and get away with it. However, most of these people don't always have journalists coming up to their face and asking you rude (to your sensibilities) questions that is insulting to someone who works out honestly every day to be the best he could be. In this day of paparazzi and journalists who want to be Bernstein and Woodward, breaking the big news, the big scandals, the big secrets, wouldn't an intelligent paranoid be extra secretive?
I guess one could say, "he's already cheating with another woman, what is the big deal about him confiding in her his illegal usage." But she herself said that he was very afraid of getting caught. Someone so afraid of being caught wouldn't want any evidence at all at BALCO or Greg Anderson that could finger him. Perhaps Anderson slipped up and thought he didn't need to be careful anymore, he could be the weak link in the chain for Bonds, so that makes some sense.
But why would he tell a mistress that he wouldn't even shell out $100K to keep quiet, wouldn't you think he would know that she could squeal about the steroid usage, if she had told him? Again, big ego could do that, but given the explosive information she would have on him, she should be able to get a lot more than $100K off of him without resorting to a very public trial to get $100K out of him.
If I were her lawyer - and I'm not a lawyer - first thing I say is "what has he told you in confidence that he would want you to shut up about? I've researched him and he's been accused of using steroids - that would be big news that he would want to shut you up on. If you got that, I can probably get you millions of dollars for that, let along the $100K you want." And if I were Bonds lawyer and she was threatening to do that, I would say, "pay her the $100k and make her go away, sign the damn papers and keep her quiet."
Yet here we are, she's the star witness for a personal vendetta by a government official who probably broke the laws of the land releasing grand jury testimony and, oh yeah, she's writing a tell-all book about her relationship with Barry, so it is not like she doesn't have any motivation to embellish her story in certain ways. Bonds has made over $100M just from playing baseball, he's probably kept over half that (taxes you know) plus invested it along the way to make even more money, he could have easily paid shut up money to the tune of $5M, which is more than she'll ever see from her book and claim that it was to protect his family from his shameful dalliance.
And yet he wouldn't even pay $100K to make her go away. He knows the press, he knows they wouldn't let it go if she blabbed about anything and everything. He knows that they would believe every word she said. Plus that and the BALCO investigation, it would be a huge mess.
Maybe he just didn't care, or his ego thought it wouldn't be any worse than what he was already going through. But given the vendetta that the IRS agent was waging against him, she could become his star witness. Why take that risk if you were a paranoid bent on protecting your legacy? Letting her go out and do this doesn't protect your legacy, it would cheapen it greatly. Ego might make you think you should have to do that, but the controlling paranoid inside him would say that $100K is cheap to keep her relatively quiet, do it, or else there would be this huge PR disaster which will make your legacy in doubt.
Not that I would know what a controlling paranoid would do, but that's how I see the logic falling out on Bell's accusations, it doesn't add up for me the actions she claim he did, based on stuff she had said plus other facts known about Bonds.