Maybe Shakespeare helped write Bonds#8217; steroid saga

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 28, 2006

To indict, or not to indict: that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of the media and federal agents, Or to take the bad elbow of my arm against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?

I never knew Shakespeare was a baseball fan, or at least a soap opera writer. In Act 3, Scene one of Hamlet, Shakespeare’s famous line “To be, or not to be? That is the question” takes on new meaning when applied to Barry Bonds and whether he’s going to be indicted by a grand jury.

Bonds dodged a bullet Thursday when federal prosecutors passed on an indictment of perjury and tax evasion charges. However, loyal and long-time friend Greg Anderson remained in jail on contempt charges since he refuses to speak to the feds about what he knows regarding Bonds and his steroid usage.

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Bonds blames Anderson and BALCO — Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative — for his problems. Bonds claims he thought he was taking flaxseed oil and arthritis balm instead of a cream steroid.

Anderson is banking on the fact he’ll be banking a lot of cash from Bonds if he can hold out and maintain his right to remain silent.

Then again, Anderson may not like the fact Bonds is walking free, wearing his orange and black uniform and swatting home runs with a Louisville Slugger bat while he is locked in a jail, wearing an all-orange uniform and swatting dirt off police cruisers with a wet, soapy sponge.

Cheer up, Greg. All is not lost.

It seems that just when Bonds is ready to exhale, the Feds have obtained the outfielder’s medical records that include reports on his injured right knee along with a serious elbow injury that former girlfriend Kimberly Bell testified Bonds had blamed on steroid use.

Federal prosecutors plan to set up a new grand jury this Thursday and use the new evidence to indict Bonds, with or without Anderson’s help. And if Bonds is indicted, Anderson loses his leverage and may decide to talk in exchange for a deal.

To rat, or not to rat: that is the question. Whether ‘tis smarter to save one’s own backside or chance a jail cell rendezvous with Bubba and a promise of a big pay day.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.