Case to jury, Bonds awaits verdict

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Case to jury, Bonds awaits verdict

April 7, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Making a final appeal to jurors before they decide whether Barry Bonds lied about taking steroids, defense attorney Allen Ruby offered a simple explanation Thursday for why the government has spent years pursuing the home run king: "He was Barry."Bonds is charged with lying to a grand jury during a Dec. 4, 2003, session when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs and said no one but his doctors gave him an injection of any kind. He was indicted more than three years ago.Ruby told the jury during his closing argument that two prosecutors attempted to "intimidate" Bonds during that 2003 court appearance by switching places 36 times to question the slugger."The prosecutors were being very cagey," said Ruby, alleging the government lawyers were attempting to confuse and humiliate Bonds. Ruby said the prosecutors failed _ and they were angered by Bonds' demeanor."He was not intimidated," Ruby said. "A lot of the venom in the government's pursuit here was because he wasn't intimidated. He was not subservient. He was Barry."BACH: Bonds trial on crash course with home opener
Ruby said witness accounts that made it sound as if Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, may have injected the baseball star numerous times were simply "made up" by Bonds' enemies.Ruby followed Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow to the lectern Thursday. Earlier, Nedrow opened his closing argument by urging the jury of eight women and four men to find Bonds guilty."All he had to do was tell the truth," Nedrow said in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston. "He chose not to tell the truth and that's why he's here."Bonds is charged with three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. Bonds, owner of the major league records for home runs in a career and a season, told the grand jury in 2003 that Anderson misled him into taking designer steroids by calling them flaxseed oil and arthritis cream.Nedrow told the jury that Bonds' story was obviously false because the former baseball star was a rich, professional athlete who paid close attention to his body."He makes 17 million a year and doesn't know what he's taking," Nedrow rhetorically asked the jury. "That's his account and it's an account that's false."MOSKOWITZ: Strong statement for the defense WednesdayNedrow alleged that Bonds lied about his drug use because he wanted to keep it from his famous father, former Major League Baseball player Bobby Bonds and from his team, the San Francisco Giants."The defendant had a secret and he didn't want his dad to know about it," Nedrow said. Bobby Bonds died of cancer in 2003.Dressed in a dark blue suit, Bonds leaned forward at the defense table and occasionally sipped from a water bottle during closing arguments. He sat attentively between two of his lawyers as Nedrow discussed the testimony of Bonds' former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, and his estranged best friend and ex-business partner, Steve Hoskins. Bell testified about physical and behavioral changes she witnessed during her nine years with Bonds, including hair loss, acne, shrunken testicles and mood swings. Nedrow alleged those were side effects of steroid use.Nedrow played a recording Hoskins secretly made of a conversation he had with Anderson. Hoskins testified that he made the recording in 2003 to prove to Bonds' father that his son was using steroids. Nedrow said the recording shows the two men discussing injecting Bonds with designer steroids.Hoskins "cared about the defendant," Nedrow said. "He was worried about the dangerous effects of the drugs."The defense team contends that Hoskins made the recording in an attempt to extort Bonds. In early 2003, Bonds accused Hoskins of selling memorabilia without Bonds' permission. Bonds severed his business relationship with Hoskins and also asked the FBI to investigate Hoskins.As closing arguments stretched into the afternoon, Bonds' attorney Cristina Arguedas attempted to discredit Bell by saying that she "committed perjury" when she exaggerated the shrinkage of Bonds' testicles during her appearance before the grand jury. Arguedas also pointed out that Bell posed nude for Playboy and appeared on Howard Stern's raunchy radio talk show.Ruby wrapped up his closing argument by urging jurors to dismiss testimony about the size of Bonds' head, which grew while he played for the Giants. Prosecutors argued head growth was a side effect of steroid use. Ruby said that there is no scientific proof that steroid use leads to head growth."This business about Barry's head getting bigger, to use a legal term, is stupid," Ruby said. "All this head lie has done is to demonize Barry Bonds."Bonds' trial, now in its 12th day, has generally attracted little interest locally but the San Francisco courtroom where the case is being tried was packed on Thursday with spectators and media.

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

BOX SCORE

At Goodyear, Arizona, Joe Panik, Conor Gillaspie and Jarrett Parker homered for San Francisco. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored twice.

Giants lefty Matt Moore went 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the spring, allowing one run and one hit. He walked two and struck out three.

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

MESA, Ariz. — An unexpected opportunity came Daniel Gossett’s way Sunday, and the young right-hander took it in stride.

When the A’s adjusted their starting rotation, Kendall Graveman got bumped to Monday and Gossett learned he’d be taking the ball to start Sunday’s Cactus League home opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I’m here for what they need me for,” Gossett said. “So anything they need, gimme the ball.”

He spun two scoreless innings in a game Oakland lost 5-3 at Hohokam Stadium. A nice first impression for Gossett, indeed, but the truth is A’s officials were already quite familiar with him.

A second-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Gossett impressed at three levels of the farm system in 2016, beginning the year with Single-A Stockton and finishing it with Triple-A Nashville.

This is his first big league camp, and manager Bob Melvin even mentioned Gossett as being part of the fifth starter conversation.

“He impressed everybody in the organization last year, so when talking about that fifth spot, who knows?” Melvin said before the game.

The only blemishes on Gossett’s day were the pair of walks he issued. After walking Jefrey Marte to lead off the second, he got a lift from his catcher, as Josh Phegley fired a strike to second to nail Marte trying to steal.

“A pitcher’s best friend, I guess,” Gossett said. He went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA across 27 starts at all three levels of the minors last year, and his 151 strikeouts led the A’s farm system. Gossett’s fastball ranges anywhere from 90-95 on the gun. He throws a changeup that gets the most swings and misses, plus a slider and curve.

Grady Fuson, an A’s special assistant to the general manager, liked the adjustments he saw with Gossett over the course of last season.

“He’s a super kid, a grinder,” Fuson said over the winter. “He’s a guy that hadn’t struck many guys out and had been very hittable in the strike zone. (In 2016), he started executing to different parts of the zone that limits the hard contact.”

CAMP BATTLE: Alejandro De Aza sparked the A’s first rally in the third Sunday with a triple, then scored on Mark Canha’s double. With Jake Smolinski sidelined currently by a shoulder issue, it’s a good time for De Aza, a non-roster invitee to camp, to make his mark. The door could be open for him to make a push to make the roster as a fifth outfielder.

“He’s an interesting guy,” Melvin said of the nine-year veteran. “He knows how to play the game, he can play all three outfield spots. We’ve seen him before when he’s given us trouble, too, with the White Sox.”

Another contender for a reserve outfield spot is Jaycob Brugman, who has yet to crack the majors but is already on the 40-man roster. He singled home a run in the seventh. Like De Aza and Smolinski, Brugman can play center field, and it stands to reason the A’s will want to carry someone who can back up Rajai Davis at that position.

NOTEWORTHY: Phegley admitted to some butterflies before getting behind the plate for his first game since July, when a right knee injury wiped out the rest of his season.

But he looked good springing up to nail Marte on the second-inning steal attempt. The A’s are counting on Phegley returning to his role as the right-handed hitting platoon partner with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

STOCK RISING: Melvin was impressed, and entertained, by the first look he got at reliever Simon Castro on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Castro retired Kris Bryant to strand a runner at third, the only hitter he faced. But it was what happened before the at-bat that caught Melvin’s attention.

“When he came to the mound he was pretty vocal,” Melvin noted. “He was fired up, telling the guys ‘Let’s go!’ I haven’t heard that too many times out of pitchers, let alone in spring training. So he impressed me with his eagerness to pitch.”

FAMILIAR FACES: Campy Campaneris and Blue Moon Odom each threw out ceremonial first pitches before Sunday’s exhibition home opener, which drew a smallish crowd of 4,072.