No verdict reached Friday in Bonds trial

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No verdict reached Friday in Bonds trial

April 8, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO (APCSN) -- The eight-woman, four-man panel did not return a verdict in the first full day of deliberations in the perjury trial of former Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

They will return Monday at 8:30, when they will re-hear the testimony of Kathy Hoskins, who said she witnessed trainer Greg Anderson inject Bonds in the abdomen while she was at Bonds' house.

Earlier Friday, they had filed back into the courtroom with their first question, and it was one that had to make prosecutors happy.

"We request the following," U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said, reading their note aloud. "The full written transcript of the Steve Hoskins-Greg Anderson digital tape recording from 2003."

In that secretly recorded conversation at the Giants' ballpark, the slugger's just-fired business partner and his then-personal trainer discuss steroids, injections and drug testing. Prosecutors used the tape in an attempt to convince jurors that the greatest home-run hitter in major league history had to know he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

That request and another one later, to hear the testimony of Steve Hoskins' sister, Kathy, were the two moments the jury reached out from its first day of deliberations. Each question involved some of the prosecution's best evidence against the home run king.

The panel worked about seven hours, including lunch and breaks, before adjourning until Monday.

Illston refused to give jurors the full transcript of the Hoskins-Anderson tape, because one wasn't placed in evidence during the trial that began March 21. But she allowed them to rehear the portions of the recording that were first played for them on March 23 and replayed Thursday during the prosecution's closing.

"Everything that I've been doing at this point, it's all undetectable," Anderson said on the tape. "See, the stuff that I have ... we created it. And you can't, you can't buy it anywhere. You can't get it anywhere else."

Anderson, who was sent to prison March 22 because he refused to testify in the Bonds case, was released Friday because the trial was over.

Even without taking the witness stand he was a big presence in the courtroom. On the recording, made by Hoskins, Anderson talks of injecting Bonds. Anderson says he doesn't use one spot, "I move it all over the place" in order to avoid cysts.

Both the prosecution and defense played portions of the recording during the trial, but only the prosecution showed jurors a transcript that allowed them to follow the often-muffled sounds. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow handed out transcripts again Friday while the government portion was played back. When the defense portion was replayed, most of the jurors still were looking down at the prosecution transcript. They were not allowed to take the transcript to the jury room.

While the prosecution also read along, Bonds and his lawyers focused on the jurors, trying to pick up any signals. The 46-year-old former MVP, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and striped tie, seemed more fidgety than he had been during the trial.

Illston told the jury late Friday that Kathy Hoskins' testimony will be read back to them when deliberations resume Monday. Hoskins was Bonds' personal shopper and claims to have seen Anderson inject him with an unknown substance in the navel in 2002.

Bonds is charged with three counts of making false statements to a grand jury in 2003 for denying he knowingly received steroids and human growth hormone from Anderson, and for saying he only allowed doctors to give him injections. He also faces one count of obstruction of justice over those three statements and four others he made to the grand jury that the prosecutors see as misleading or evasive.

Jurors have been very attentive in this high-profile case, the culmination of a federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) that began in 2002. BALCO turned out to be the center of a steroids distribution ring, and Anderson was among the participants.

Each count against Bonds carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison, but federal guidelines indicate a recommended total sentence of 15 to 21 months. For similar offenses earlier in the BALCO case, Illston punished two people with home confinement.

The foreman of the eight-woman, four-man jury was not announced, but the panel seemed to look to a middle-aged man seated in the first row of the jury box for guidance when Illston told them of the Hoskins tape: "The written transcript was not and is not in evidence. The evidence in the case is the digital record, so we can, if that's what you want, play it again, in open court."

Many jurors quickly nodded and said yes.

Two miles away, the Giants the team Bonds was with when he became one of the most-feared hitters of his time were playing their home opener at AT&T Park and Hall of Famer Willie Mays was presenting manager Bruce Bochy with folded up World Series championship flag.

And just as the hearing was ending, Major League Baseball announced Tampa Bay Rays slugger Manny Ramirez was retiring. Ramirez made the decision rather than be suspended for 100 games following a second positive drug test, a person familiar with the events that led to the announcement said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the positive test was not announced.

Prosecutors presented just one piece of direct evidence against Bonds, Kathy Hoskins' eyewitness testimony about Bonds getting the injection at his Bay Area home. But they pointed to much circumstantial evidence.

Steve Hoskins said he saw Anderson, who had a syringe with a needle, walk into the master bedroom at Bonds' spring training home along with the player several times and then lock the door. Former AL MVP Jason Giambi and three other players testified they knowingly received drugs from Anderson.

Bonds told the grand jury he used steroids provided by Anderson, but that the trainer told him they were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream. Prosecutors claim that "little lie" that was an attempt to hide the "big lie" that Bonds achieved his season (73) and career (762) home runs records with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.

Late in the day, Illston instructed the jurors at the behest of the defense that Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella misspoke during his closing argument when he said former Giants Head Athletic Trainer Stan Conte testified that Harvey Shields, another Bonds trainer, used flaxseed oil on the player all the time. Conte never made that claim.

Dexter Fowler leaves Cubs, signs $82.5 million deal with Cardinals

Dexter Fowler leaves Cubs, signs $82.5 million deal with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Dexter Fowler is headed from the World Series champions to their biggest rival.

After helping the Chicago Cubs end their long championship drought, he finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Fowler fills the last big hole left in the Cardinals lineup after moves made earlier in the offseason to shore up the bullpen.

"It was an honor just to be considered to be in the Cardinals organization," said Fowler, who will wear No. 25 in honor of his mentor, Barry Bonds, because his usual 24 is retired by the Cardinals.

"You play against the Cardinals, I've been playing against them for eight years now," Fowler said, "and they always come out fighting. Always fighting. And then being with a rival, being the Cubs however many times we play them a year, you see them and - it's always good a winning team wants you."

Fowler was also a free agent a year ago, when he spurned a $33 million, three-year offer from Baltimore, who refused to offer an opt out after one year, and signed a $13 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .276 with 13 homers and a career-best .393 on-base percentage that landed him in his first All-Star Game, then had a pair of home runs in helping the Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years.

"Playing over there, and playing against the Cardinals, you see them and you saw that they weren't far away," Fowler said. "Obviously they beat up on us, we beat up on them. It was almost even. It was one day or another. I can't put my finger on one thing or another, but we're definitely close."

His new deal calls for a $10 million signing bonus, payable in $1 million installments each July 1 and Oct. 1 for the next five years, and annual salaries of $14.5 million.

He gets a full no-trade provision, $50,000 bonuses for making the All-Star Game and winning a Gold Glove, a $25,000 bonus for a Silver Slugger, $100,000 for League Championship Series MVP and $150,000 for World Series MVP. He would get $250,000 for NL MVP, $150,000 for finishing second in voting and $100,000 for third through fifth. He would get $50,000 for Division Series MVP if the award is created.

One of the goals this offseason for St. Louis was to get more athletic, both defensively and on the base paths. Fowler was identified early in the process as someone who filled that role.

"He was always someone we were hoping to sign," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said, "but after this past week at winter meetings ... we certainly wanted to get this done. And we're excited we got this done."

The lanky 30-year-old from Atlanta is a .268 career hitter over nine seasons with Colorado, Houston and the Cubs. He's expected to slot into the Cardinals' leadoff spot, giving St. Louis a switch-hitter in front of lefty-hitting Matt Carpenter and righties Aledmys Diaz, Stephen Piscotty and Yadier Molina.

"You obviously have great presence at the top of the lineup," manager Mike Matheny said. "The athleticism, the excitement of bringing in a player that has all those physical attributes, I think it's been well-said, this is the guy we were hoping to be sitting up here with."

Fowler said negotiations with the Cardinals were easy with one notable exception.

"We were on a 2-hour time difference, and I guess he wanted to get in touch with me," Fowler said, "but I was in the dentist chair, so he couldn't get in touch."

So, Fowler sent his agent Casey Close a photo of him to pass along to Mozeliak - "That was a first for me, that kind of photo," the GM said - and everything proceeded smoothly after that.

The news of his signing started breaking while Fowler was on a plane to St. Louis, and that also created some problems: namely, with his sleep. People started coming up to him while he was trying to take a nap and asking him whether the news was true.

"I was like, 'Uh, you know, I don't know,'" Fowler said with a grin. "It was definitely funny."

Fowler is eager to help the Cardinals add their 12th World Series championship.

"This is a baseball city," said Fowler. "The fans, every time you come here, you see red everywhere. That's awesome to see. Even going through our parade (in Chicago), you saw Cardinals fans out there. They've won World Series (and) they're poised to be back in the World Series and win again. That was a big part of my decision."

The Cardinals were investigating the trade market for an outfielder during the winter meetings, but decided Fowler was their best option. Because Fowler did not accept Chicago's $17.2 million qualifying offer, St. Louis forfeits its top draft pick next June, No. 18 overall, and the Cubs get an extra selection after the first round as compensation

It was a sacrifice the Cardinals were willing to make to not only improve their lineup, but snag a piece away from their biggest rival in the NL Central.

"There's always the baseball angle in all decisions, but there's also the human element," Mozeliak said. "We think about him as a leader. He wants to have a voice in that clubhouse. When you think back to wanting to change the culture of what we have going on - we like what we have, but now it's even better."

Giants' 2015 first-round draft pick suspended 50 games

Giants' 2015 first-round draft pick suspended 50 games

Former Giants pitching prospect Phil Bickford is suspended for the first 50 games of the 2017 Carolina League season for a second positive test for drug of abuse, MLB announced on Friday.

Before the 2016 deadline, San Francisco traded the 21-year old (along with Andrew Susac) to the Brewers in exchange for left-handed reliever Will Smith.

The Giants selected Bickford with the 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Over 11 starts for Single-A Augusta last year, the right-hander went 3-4 with a 2.70 ERA.

In six starts for Single-A San Jose, he went 2-2 with a 2.73 ERA.