Giants

Players, ex-Giants trainer testify in Bonds' perjury trial

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Players, ex-Giants trainer testify in Bonds' perjury trial

March 29, 2011

Editor's note: Follow all the developments at the trial with Ray Ratto's Twitter feed(@RattoCSN) from the courtroom. We'll have comprehensive analysis on SportsNet Central tonight.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- One by one, they walked down the aisle of Courtroom 10 and took a seat on the witness stand for their public day of reckoning.

First Jason Giambi, the 2000 American League MVP. Then his brother Jeremy. And finally Marvin Benard, Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants teammate.

In the biggest mass confession to steroids use in baseball history, the trio testified Tuesday at Bonds trial. They all said they purchased and used performance-enhancing drugs from Greg Anderson, the trainer who is in jail for his refusal to testify against Bonds.

I understood what it was a steroid, Jeremy Giambi said.

Jason Giambi, now a 40-year-old first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, said he first met Anderson when the trainer accompanied Bonds on the All-Star tour of Japan following the 2002 season just before the onset of drug testing in baseball. Giambi was aware that Anderson worked with Bonds.

By mid-December, Anderson sent testosterone to Giambi along with syringes and vitamins.

Did you understand that to be a steroid? Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Nedrow asked.

Yes, Giambi said.

Bonds is charged with four counts of making false statements to the grand jury and one count of obstruction for denying he knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. He told the grand jury Anderson said he was taking flaxseed oil and arthritic balm, which in reality were designer steroids nicknamed the clear and the cream.

Giambi said Anderson explained how the two designer steroids worked by raising both testosterone and epitestosterone and keeping the ratio roughly the same as naturally occurs, so as not to trip a drug test.

It was very secretive to get your hands on it, Giambi said.

The clear turned out to be Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) and the cream was a testosterone-based substance.

As Jason walked out after 36 minutes of testimony, he went past Jeremy, who was on his way to the witness stand. As Jeremy left a half-hour later, he gave a pat on the back to Benard, who was on the way in.

In the morning, former Giants head athletic trainer Stan Conte said he suggested to general manager Brian Sabean and manager Dusty Baker at spring training in 2000 that Bonds trainers, Anderson and Harvey Shields, should be barred from the Giants training room and clubhouse.

At AT&T Park, Sabean said he wasnt able to comment. Baker, now manager of the Cincinnati Reds, said at spring training, I dont remember it, really.

As Arroyo is shut down, Sandoval's numbers nosedive

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USATSI

As Arroyo is shut down, Sandoval's numbers nosedive

SAN FRANCISCO — There is a Houston Astros prospect named Dean Deetz, and in a way, Pablo Sandoval can thank him for his second shot with the Giants. 

Deetz drilled Christian Arroyo on July 1, halting the young third baseman’s bid to return to the Giants for the final two months. With Eduardo Nuñez traded to Boston and Arroyo recovering from minor hand surgery, the Giants turned to Sandoval, who has been a fixture in the middle of their lineup the last couple of weeks. Arroyo hoped to get some time at the hot corner in September, but on Thursday the Giants conceded that won’t happen. 

Arroyo will miss the rest of the regular season, team officials said. The hope is that he can get healthy in time for the Arizona Fall League and then potentially make up lost at-bats in a winter league.

Arroyo is either the organization’s best or second-best hitting prospect, depending on which list you look at. He hit .396 in Triple-A this season and then provided a momentary jolt after he forced his way into the big league lineup. Then the slump came, and overall Arroyo hit just .192 in 34 big league games. He was sent back to the minors and promptly was hit by a couple of pitches. 

It was a season with plenty of highs but a disappointing ending, but Arroyo is still just 22 and looks to be a big part of the future. Has he done enough to go into next spring with a firm grip on a job? 

“I’ll have to answer that later on and see where we’re at,” manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday. “It’s all going to be competitive, that’s the way I look at it. You look at where we’ll finish, and not in the postseason, and you have to stay open-minded on everything.”

This could be setting up for a pretty intriguing spring battle. Arroyo and 23-year-old Ryder Jones were the internal candidates set for a competition, but Sandoval likely will be the everyday third baseman down the stretch. He has shown flashes of his old pre-Boston self and the Giants have been generally pleased with his play. Still, the results aren’t really there. 

Sandoval is hitting .200 since returning, with a .220 on-base percentage and .325 slugging percentage. That's good for a .545 OPS, which is nearly 100 points below his OPS in Boston this season. The Red Sox, at some point, had seen enough.  

Bochy said he has taken positives away from Sandoval's energy and some of his bigger moments, particularly the upper-deck homer he hit off Max Scherzer over the weekend. That’s his only homer with the Giants so far, but it made an impression. 

“He’s got the bat speed,” Bochy said. “That’s one of the longest homers we’ve seen this year. That shows (the bat speed) is there.”

Jones has been a fixture as well, playing first base in place of Brandon Belt. He has looked much better the second time around, but his average is still below .200 and his OPS of .559 is just about equal to Sandoval's. The Giants have not seen enough from anyone to have a favorite to play third base next season, and Bochy said the same holds true at other positions. 

"We've got to stay open-minded about who is going to be where next year (and) playing time," he said. "It's up to us to adjust and get better."

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.