Bonds' ex-girlfriend tells of threats, steroid use

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Bonds' ex-girlfriend tells of threats, steroid use

March 28, 2011

Editor's note: Follow all the developments at the trial with Henry Wofford's Twitter feed (@HenryWoffordCSN) from the courtroom. We'll have comprehensive analysis on SportsNet Central tonight.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Kimberly Bell, her voice cracking, looked out at the court room and talked about the final stretch of her nine-year relationship with Barry Bonds.The greatest hitter of his era threatened "to cut my head off and leave me in a ditch," she said. "More than once."She said Bonds told her "he would cut out my breast implants because he paid for them."As for the Arizona house he had helped pay for, "he told me he would burn it down."Bonds' federal trial resumed Monday with nearly daylong testimony from his former mistress, who said the slugger attributed a 1999 elbow injury to steroids use. She also discussed how Bonds became verbally abusive and said that his physique changed, offering a lurid description of his shrinking testicles, back acne, scalp hair that fell out and chest hair that turned gray. Such mental and physical symptoms are associated with steroid use.Prosecutors allege Bonds lied when he told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.Bell met Bonds in 1994 and testified that from 1999 to 2001, "he was just increasingly aggressive, irritable, agitated, very impatient."MOSKOWITZ: Excitement ahead in Week 2 of Bonds trial
In testimony similar to that of former Bonds business partner Steve Hoskins last week, she said that in at least two different years at spring training, she saw Bonds and personal trainer Greg Anderson "go into a bedroom off the kitchen and close and lock the door."She said Anderson "would always have a little satchel with him." She saw those scenes played out multiple times.Prosecutors claim Anderson, who has been jailed for refusing to testify, repeatedly injected Bonds with performance-enhancing drugs.Dressed in a gray pantsuit and white shirt, and with deep lines under her eyes, Bell answered 72 minutes of prosecution questions and was pressured during 4 hours, 15 minutes of questioning from the defense, who tried to portray her as a gold digger, a scorned former lover, a liar and the instigator of a mortgage fraud scheme.Defense lawyer Cristina Arguedas brought up an interview Bell gave Playboy and a television appearance on Geraldo Rivera."You have taken many opportunities to disparage Barry Bonds ... in the most vulgar ways possible?" Arguedas said in a question that was more a statement."Did you go on Howard Stern's radio show?" Arguedas continued. "Does he do anything that isn't vulgar?"When Arguedas repeated: "Did you say vulgar things about Barry Bonds?" Bell answered: "Please refresh my memory."With that, Arguedas took a break to talk with Allen Ruby, Bonds' lead lawyer. After a few moments, Arguedas told the court: "We're going to decline that opportunity to go into the gutter. No more questions."At the start of the day, Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy testified that Bonds' hat size increased from 7 14 to 7 3-8 in 2002. Murphy said that while Willie Mays and Willie McCovey needed larger hats, their increases did not happen until after they had retired as players.Former Giants head athletic trainer Stan Conte is to testify Tuesday along with former AL MVP Jason Giambi, brother Jeremy Giambi and Randy Velarde, other players linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which ran a steroids distribution ring.While there were empty seats in the court room last week, the wood benches were filled for Bell's testimony and about a dozen people waited on line outside for one of the approximately 50 seats available to the public.Bell testified Bonds revealed his steroids use to her only once, between 1999 and 2000 at her apartment."He had an injury on his elbow and it was a big lump on his elbow," she said. "It looked really awful, and he said it was because of steroids. ... somehow it caused the muscle and the tendons to grow faster than the joint itself could handle."Bonds had left elbow surgery on April 20, 1999, and was on the disabled list until June 9. He holds the MLB records for home runs in a career (762) and a single season (73).Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Nedrow, Bell said Bonds told her "he didn't shoot it up every day like body builders did.""That's how they were getting ahead, that's how they were achieving, by using steroids," she quoted Bonds as saying. She went on to say this was the period "when Mark McGwire was breaking records."Dressed in a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and blue-and-silver patterned tie, Bonds alternately watched Bell on the stand, scribbled notes and whispered to one of his defense attorneys, Allen Ruby. A few times, Bonds put on reading glasses.Bell met Bonds briefly outside Candlestick Park on July 3, 1994, when she was introduced by Kathy Hoskins, a former personal shopper for Bonds who also is expected to testify."He said: 'Damn girl, you're fine,'" said Bell, who occasionally dabbed at tears.She attended a barbecue the next day at Bonds' mother's house, and Bonds arrived with Bobby Bonilla. From there, they shared a romantic relationship that continued even after Bonds married Liz Watson, who became his second wife in 1999.In anticipation of defense attempts to discredit Bell, Nedrow asked about an interview and nude photograph shoot she did with Playboy that appeared in 2007."I was trying to put my life together," she testified. "Maybe it wasn't the best decision."Bell testified that Playboy agreed to pay her 100,000, but sent the money to her agent, David Hans Schmidt. Schmidt committed suicide in 2007 while under investigation for allegedly attempting to extort the actor Tom Cruise and Bell said she saw little of the Playboy payment - "about 17,000 or 18,000."While Ruby cross-examined the first four witnesses, Arguedas spent most of Monday trying to portray Bell as a jilted woman who had broken off her previous relationship on the day she was to be married.When Bonds told her in 1998 that he was going to marry Watson, Bell said the player told her "you can come see me on road trips." Bell testified that after Bonds married, he told her there were "girlfriend cities and wife cities" and that she wasn't allowed to travel with him to New York, Montreal and Atlanta.Bell said she went instead to San Diego, Houston and Miami. She recalled bitterly how Bonds told her to find her own way home from after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when commercial airlines were shut down and Bonds was on the team charter."Barry abandoned me in Houston after 9-11," she said.Arguedas ran through a litany of financial benefits Bell received in "this position you had, as the girlfriend for road trips." Bonds bought her several cars and paid the down payment for her house in North Scottsdale, Ariz. Arguedas repeatedly brought up forms Bell signed in which she said it would be her secondary home, trying to portray Bell as a liar.Arguedas also quizzed Bell about an e-mail she sent to Bonds' website in April 2004, almost a year after their breakup on May 23, 2003. Bell said she listed all the women she knew that Bonds was sleeping with: a model in New York, another woman in Las Vegas and "the stripper from Phoenix.""This is the guy who you described as having penile dysfunction," Arguedas said. "That's a lot of action."Bonds covered his mouth in an apparent attempt to suppress a grin."I don't know what he was doing with them," Bell responded. "I can only imagine."

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

It’s lonely at the top, which is where Markelle Fultz sits on almost every 2017 NBA Draft board. The Brooklyn Nets should be set for the next decade with a big time scoring point guard. Instead, it’s the Boston Celtics who have no choice but to take Fultz with the No. 1 overall selection after a savvy trade that sent veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a stack of picks and players back in 2013.

Fultz can do it all. He’s deadly from the outside, he can take you off the bounce and he has elite passing skills to boot. In a draft packed with star potential, specifically at the point guard position, the freshman from Washington stands out well above the rest.  

It would take a major shake up at the top for Fultz not to have his name called first on draft night, but there are plenty of very talented players sitting on the board behind him. Here is a deeper look at the potential top overall selection.

The Positives:
Fultz has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA point guard. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 195-pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and has a frame built to take on muscle. At just 19-years-old, he is already well defined physically and has plenty of room to grow and get stronger.

A crafty, high-end scorer, Fultz changes speed and direction well and has an advanced Euro-step for a young player. He averaged 23.2 points in 35.7 minutes a night for the Huskies while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He can score from all three levels, finish well above the rim and play through contact.

In his lone season in college, Fultz showed that he is not only a legitimate scoring threat, but he is a willing passer and an unselfish teammate. While Lonzo Ball is considered the true pass first point guard of the draft, Fultz had a higher assist rate (35.5 to 31.5) and lower turnover rate (13.4 to 18.2) than the star guard from UCLA.

Fultz rebounds well for his position, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game at Washington. He also has potential as a defender, posting 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, although he is a work in progress on that end of the floor.

Known as a high-character kid and tireless worker off the court, Fultz has the entire package. He can also play the lead or shooting guard spot, which will come in handy if the Celtics decide to pair him with All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.

The Negatives:
9-16 is a concern. Great college players should be able to will their team to victory, even if the talent around them is suspect. Washington was certainly worse off without Fultz down the stretch, losing their last six while he sat with a knee injury.

Shot selection and sloppy ball handling was also an issue this season. In Fultz’ defense, he played with a group that lacked overall talent and those issues might eventually disappear when he’s added to a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

Fultz is a quality chase down defender, but he fell asleep on plenty of plays or didn’t show a consistent fight on the defensive end. Lack of focus allowed for plenty of back cuts. He also showed an inconsistent effort fighting through screens.

He’s a work in progress on the defensive end, like most young players coming into the league. Most of these issues can easily be coached out of him at the next level.

Projection:
Fultz has an advanced feel and tons of room to expand his game. On the court, he resembles another former Husky in Brandon Roy. Fultz is much further along than Roy was at the same age, but possesses both the ability to score from anywhere on the court, as well as rebound and set up his teammates.  

It’s hard to imagine the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top overall selection, but if they do, teams will scramble trying to move up to select him. He would fit perfectly in the Kings starting backcourt alongside sophomore Buddy Hield, but Sacramento lacks the assets to move from five to one, Fultz’ likely landing spot.

 

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.