CommunityPam's House Blend

"A Sad Day For Baseball."

I take synthetic estrogens as a part of my treatment for transsexuality.  I know first hand how powerful hormones can be towards shaping or reshaping a body. 

And, my female-to-male (F2M) brothers know testosterone is more powerful a hormone than estrogen is — most F2M’s see changes in bone structure and muscle mass in very short order when on male androgens (testosterone being a male androgen), and as a result usually become “invisible” in their target sex well within two years of starting hormones.

Is that “cheating?”  No, for transsexuals it’s treatment for a recognized medical conditionUsing anabolic steroids for sports is another matter — it’s trying to get an edge over one’s competition by the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Health Insite says…

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones (androgens). They promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects)…

In the San Francisco Chronicle reports this morning that Barry Bonds indicted on 4 perjury counts, obstruction of justice — the alleged lying was over Barry Bonds’ alleged use of steroids.

The perjury case against former Giants star Barry Bonds is built on documents seized in a federal raid on a Burlingame steroids lab and positive drug test results indicating that baseball’s all-time home run king used steroids, court records show.

Bonds, perhaps the greatest hitter of his generation, was indicted Thursday on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. He is accused of lying under oath in December 2003 when he told the grand jury that investigated the BALCO steroid ring that he had never used banned drugs.

The 43-year-old free-agent outfielder faces arraignment Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, months of legal proceedings – and a federal prison term of about 30 months if he is convicted at trial, legal experts said.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors said Bonds lied when he denied using a long list of banned drugs, including steroids, testosterone, human growth hormone and “the clear,” the undetectable designer steroid marketed by BALCO.

Bonds also lied when he testified that his longtime personal trainer, Greg Anderson, had never injected him with drugs, the government contended. The trainer, who was imprisoned for contempt of court after he refused to testify against Bonds, was freed Thursday night, hours after Bonds’ indictment was unsealed.

The one thing that seems clear from the indictment:

…if you do want a conclusion you can jump to, it is that Bonds is retired from baseball, whether he likes it or not.

The five-count indictment blows so many holes in Bonds’ desirability to other teams that it is unfathomable that another team would be willing to sign him, either in December, March, June or ever. Never mind whether he is still a salable commodity to the average fan – no team is going to sign someone who might have to take a few weeks off during the middle of the 2008 season to go on trial. Even the most benign viewing of the events of today undercuts Bonds’ ability to make himself attractive to another team. His new uniform is a suit, his support staff is [attorneys] John Burris and Michael Rains, and 762 is the home run record for the foreseeable future.

[Sports commentary on the indictment after the break]Some commentary on the indictment:

Jim Litke, AP Sports Columnist:

Most of us made up our minds about Bonds long before the word “defendant” was formally attached to his name. Now Bonds’ faithful fans and even those who congratulated him with tightlipped smiles can begin climbing off the fence.

President George Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, felt compelled to weigh in quickly, albeit cautiously. Even while warning to let justice run its course, his spokesman called it “a sad day for baseball.” No kidding.

Commissioner Bud Selig echoed those remarks.

“I have yet to see the details of this indictment and while everyone in America is considered innocent until proven guilty, I take this indictment very seriously and will follow its progress closely,” he said.

Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle:

It’s too late for an asterisk. It’s never too late for the truth.

Barry Bonds took the all-time home-run record this summer because no one could stop him, not the government, not Major League Baseball, not the fans at road games with their heated lungs and pointed signs. The former king bowed to the new one, and the president of the United States called with congratulations. That show is over. There is no rewind button.

Now, four years in the making, a new show begins, a companion piece to the summer drama: “United States of America vs. Barry Lamar Bonds.”

It can’t possibly end with the absolute clarity of a number like 762 home runs in a career or 73 in a season. It’s inconceivable that it will end in 30 years behind bars, the maximum sentence for the perjury and obstruction charges lodged against Bonds in Thursday’s indictment. But at the very least, it should go the distance, and we might see Bonds on the witness stand defending himself against accusations that he used steroids and human growth hormone to break Hank Aaron’s record.

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times:

Not since the fixed World Series of 1919 has baseball been in such a fix, its most accomplished player indicted Thursday for lying about cheating his way to its most glamorous record.

United States of America v. Barry Lamar Bonds.

United States of America v. Its Own Doggone National Pastime.

Yeah, it’s that awful.

Sure, everyone suspected Bonds took steroids. Absolutely, everyone wrote that Bonds probably took steroids.

Heck, Commissioner Bud Selig was so sure Bonds was going to be indicted for lying about steroids, he refused to publicly applaud him during his chase of Hank Aaron’s home run record last summer.

Everyone — except perhaps the exceptionally deluded San Francisco Giants fans — saw this indictment coming.

But we had no idea how it would feel once it arrived.

It feels slimy. It feels sick.

As a kid, I followed Major League Baseball closely,, my favorite team was the Los Angeles Dodgers, and my second favorite team was the San Francisco Giants (I was too young to know it’s poor form to be both a Dodgers and a Giants fan)– my favorite player was Bobby Bonds, Barry Bonds’ father.

Since then, I’ve lost interest in Baseball. Stories like Mark McGuire’s bottle of Adrostendione (a performance enhancing drug) in his locker, Sammy Sosa’s corked bat, and this Bonds’ indictment go a long way to keeping my interest lost. 

It’s one thing to use hormones to treat a recognized medical condition like transsexuality, it’s another thing altogether to use anabolic steroids to to attempt to get an unlawful competitive edge at sports, and then allegedly lie about it in a court of law.

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