Velarde, Benard: Bonds' trainer provided drugs

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Velarde, Benard: Bonds' trainer provided drugs

March 30, 2011

Editor's note: Follow all the developments at the trial with Kate Longworth's Twitter feed (@KLongworthCSN) from the courtroom. We'll have comprehensive analysis on SportsNet Central tonight.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- As prosecutors moved closer to finishing their case against Barry Bonds, former major league infielder Randy Velarde described meeting the slugger's personal trainer outside spring training ballparks for injections of human growth hormone.

Velarde said he sought out Greg Anderson because of his link to Bonds, and they met "in various parking lots."

"I can't remember each," Velarde said Wednesday during his 12 minutes of federal court testimony.

He wasn't sure exactly how many times he met Anderson. He was asked whether it was more than 10.

"That would be a fair number," he said.

And always, there would be an injection.

"Every meeting," he said.NEWS: Clemens says he's eager for trial

Velarde became the fourth and likely final ball player to say he purchased performance-enhancing drugs from Anderson, who has been jailed for contempt after refusing to testify against Bonds, his childhood friend.

With Anderson unavailable, prosecutors called Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Marvin Benard and Velarde as witnesses to describe Anderson's drug-dealing an attempt to show jurors Bonds must have known the substances he was receiving from Anderson were performance-enhancing drugs. None of the players had personal knowledge of any drug use by Bonds.

Three more players were among the 50 potential witnesses on a list submitted to the court by prosecutors on March 7 1987 NL Rookie of the Year Benito Santiago, Armando Rios and Bobby Estalella but Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew A. Parrella told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Wednesday that the government intended to call just three more witnesses.

His statement came as a surprise. Prosecutors said in the March 7 filing that Estalella would testify Bonds admitted to him that he used performance-enhancing drugs and they had several discussions about the subject.

Parrella said his final three witnesses would be Bonds' physician Dr. Arthur Ting, Bonds' former personal shopper Kathy Hoskins and former UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory head Dr. Don Catlin. After that, the defense can start calling its witnesses.

Benard finished testifying Wednesday morning and was followed by Velarde. Then came a current IRS special agent and a former one, along with six of the people who worked at the UCLA lab as it processed Bonds' 2003 drug test. Giving often tedious testimony, the eight established the chain of evidence for the jury of Bonds' urine from the time federal agents seized it from Quest Diagnostics in April 2004 until the time it tested positive for the steroid Tetrahydrogestrinone (TGH) in March 2006.

After just five witnesses appeared in the first four days of testimony, the trial's pace has increased. Five witnesses finished their testimony on Tuesday and 10 more completed their questioning on Wednesday.

With prosecutors planning to read portions of Bonds' grand jury testimony to the jury, the government's presentation is likely to wrap up by early next week. Thursday's session will be cut short because Illston will leave to attend the swearing in of a judge late in the day. After that, the trial resumes Monday.

Bonds, baseball's season and career home run king, is charged with four counts of lying and one count of obstruction for telling a grand jury in 2003 that he didn't knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs. Wearing a blue suit and blue tie, he took notes and conferred with lead lawyer Allen Ruby during a day filled with science, such as explanations of how an isotope-ratio mass spectrometer works and the difference between carbon-12 and carbon-13.

"I think we are all feeling a little obtuse right now," Illston said late in the day.

Velarde played mostly for the New York Yankees but also for the Angels and Athletics in a major league career from 1987-02. He met Anderson in 2001 through Estalella, who split that year between Bonds' Giants and the Yankees.

"He mentioned to me he could get some stuff through Greg and gave me his name and number," Velarde said.

Anderson at first sent Velarde some pills, but the player felt they weren't benefiting him

He then switched to injections and said after them he felt he had more endurance and strength. He paid Anderson 500 to 800.

At the start of the morning, Ruby cross-examined Benard and tried to imply Benard didn't know that substances Anderson gave him called "the clear" and "the cream" were steroids. Bonds told the grand jury Anderson told him they were "flaxseed oil" and arthritic balm.

Benard admitted he met with the prosecution when he arrived in San Francisco this week from his home in Washington state.

"At this meeting you had with these prosecutors, they told you they wanted you to say that Anderson told you he was giving you a steroid, an undetectable steroid," Ruby said.

Benard said prosecutors reviewed his grand jury testimony with them.

"They showed me what I said earlier, when my memory was clearer," Benard said.

"Isn't it true, Mr. Benard, that you were asked many times at the grand jury what Anderson said to you about this new material he was giving you and you never said that he had called it an undetectable steroid?" Ruby asked.

"You got a better idea of what I said in there than I do," Benard told him.

Giants lineup: Hernandez in, Slater out

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AP

Giants lineup: Hernandez in, Slater out

Bud Black and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for today's series opener at AT&T Park:

Rockies (47-31) 
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
5. Raimel Tapia (L) RF
6. Ian Desmond (R) LF
7. Trevor Story (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. German Marquez (R) P (5-3, 3.92 ERA)

Giants (27-51)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 3B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P (2-9, 4.74 ERA)

Earthquakes players react to Kinnear's firing, Leitch's promotion

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USATI

Earthquakes players react to Kinnear's firing, Leitch's promotion

There are few players in Major League Soccer who are as synonymous with their club as Chris Wondolowski is with the San Jose Earthquakes. 

So it speaks to the current climate that is the Quakes when on Monday an emotional Wondolowski fought back tears and apologized as he cut an interview with media members short as he attempted to discuss the firing of Dominic Kinnear. 

The forward, who has played for Kinnear in San Jose and Houston, apologized as he walked away from the scrum on the training pitch back to the team locker room inside Avaya Stadium. 

The news that Kinnear is gone after 2 1/2 seasons with the club hit the players just as shockingly as the team’s fans on Sunday. And on Monday, while general manager Jesse Fioranelli did his best to clarify the intention behind his decision, players and new head coach Chris Leitch tried to steady the ship as the organization is confronted with the only truth that matters: the show must go on. 

“Still swirling, whirling — didn’t see it coming,” Wondolowski said about Kinnear’s firing. “I thought it was a bit interesting. I owe Dom and (assistant head John Spencer) where I am today. So, it’s definitely tough.” 

"We found out as a team Sunday morning,” said longtime Quakes midfielder Shea Salinas. “Came as a surprise to us as it did probably most of you. This is definitely unexpected. And my first reaction is just a little bit of remorse and sadness for Dom and John Spencer. They love this club, they love our team. They wanted us to win and they were doing everything in their power to do so. And I think that’s important to remember, that these guys poured every once of energy into this team.

“We got to speak with Dom [Monday] morning. I haven’t spoken to him personally. He came in and addressed the locker room and just gave us his best wishes and it was really nice and professional of him to have hear what he had to say."

“I hope everyone uses this as a signal to reflect on his own play [during] the first half of this season,” said newcomer and 2017 revelation Florian Jungwirth. “Everyone knows they can do better and like I said, I hope everyone uses it as a signal.” 

The Quakes were riding high after defeating Real Salt Lake on Saturday night 2-1 and propelling themselves back into the MLS playoff race — a place they haven’t visited since 2012. But, according to Fioranelli, the decision to fire Kinnear had been made the week prior after two-to-three months of internal consideration. And regardless of the win or where the Quakes currently sit on the table (fifth in the Western Conference), the time for change at the top was necessary. 

“First, most importantly, it’s the respect we have for Dominic and what he’s done here for this group,” Leitch said. “And I know that respect is shared by everyone in that locker room.”

“Change is scary. And change is also exciting,” Salinas said. "It’s a balance. it’s the same guys in the locker room. We have the same objective. We’re going to go out there to give it our all to win every game.”

Leitch, who will step over from his role as the club’s technical director to front the team on the pitch, echoed his players’ sentiments as the organization looks to turn the page. He’ll attempt to do so with the help of Alex Cavelo, as he'll fill in for John Spencer who was let go along with Kinnear. 

“I’ve been around this club an awfully long time,” Leitch said. “I know a lot about this club. It sure means a whole hell of a lot to me. So, my focus is squarely on that and reaching our goals for this season.”

Without going into specifics, the first-time MLS head coach said the talk of his becoming the team’s head coach started just recently. 

“You always want to be as close as you can to the game so, coaching is extremely interesting as that is the closest part to the game,” Leitch said. “When you work for a club, you do whatever the club wants, you do whatever the clubs need. So in this case, this is what the club needs. It’s always the goal to help the club in the biggest way possible.”

“Chris Leitch is not just the bridge. He is part of the foundation of this club,” Fioranelli said. “For that reason, we did want someone to come from abroad and take over this team We wanted someone that cares, someone that knows the players, knows the team to take on this important next chapter.

“He’s absolutely equipped to take on this challenge,” Fioranelli said, adding that the idea of hiring internally, while sending a message of promotion from within the organization all the way down to the club’s youth endeavors, played a huge part in naming Leitch the head coach.  

While off the pitch, part of the plan is to send a confident message from the general manager all the way down to the season ticket holders, in between the lines, the Quakes face a mountain-esque task of three games in eight days and the pressures that come with being a club that promised improvements to its fanbase since opening a new stadium a pair of seasons ago. 

“My confidence rests in these players,” Leitch said. “I know this is a damn good group. I know that setting expectations anything lower than playoffs is going to be lower than what this group wants.

“Goals are quite simple, they’re all collective. First one is make the playoffs, the second one is we got to make the playoffs and the third one after that is we got to make the playoffs. To say anything less would be to minimize the group that’s in that locker room.”