Baseball Notebook | Bonds wants case dismissed
Barry Bonds' lawyers filed a motion to dismiss perjury charges against him Wednesday. In case that is rejected, the lawyers moved to strike...
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds' lawyers filed a motion to dismiss perjury charges against him Wednesday. In case that is rejected, the lawyers moved to strike parts of his indictment, describing the charges against Bonds as ambiguous, inartful, scattershot, vague and confusing.
Bonds was indicted in November on charges of lying and obstruction of justice stemming from his appearance before a federal grand jury in 2003, when he was questioned about whether he had taken steroids given by his personal trainer, Greg Anderson. Last month, Bonds pleaded not guilty.
Bonds' lawyers contend parts of the indictment "are so vague that it is simply impossible to be certain what untruths Mr. Bonds is alleged to have uttered."
They argued the government bore a high burden of proof: "Conviction requires a statement under oath which is a clearly false answer to an unambiguous question."
Robert Weisberg, a Stanford Law School professor, said both sides were engaged in "an incredibly careful verbal ballet." The issue, he said, will be Bonds' state of mind.
His defense could be that "he didn't know he was taking a banned substance, therefore statements he made, though false, are honestly false," said Weisberg, who added that such a defense is hard to prove. His better hope, Weisberg said, is for Bonds' lawyers to challenge the prosecutors' questioning of Bonds as too vague for his answers to have been false.
Report: Canseco sought favor to omit name
Jose Canseco, the admitted steroid user who exposed other players in his 2005 best-selling book "Juiced," offered to keep a Detroit Tigers outfielder "clear" in Canseco's next book if the player invested money in a movie project Canseco was promoting, according to a person in baseball with knowledge of the situation.
Four people in baseball confirmed to The New York Times that referrals were made from Major League Baseball to the FBI regarding Canseco's actions relating to six-time All-Star Magglio Ordonez, who was not mentioned in Canseco's earlier book or in any other report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
The FBI did not open a formal investigation because Ordonez said he did not want to pursue the complaint.
Canseco denied that he — or any associate of his — ever asked Ordonez for money to keep his name out of the upcoming book "Vindicated."
"Absolutely not," Canseco said. He also said he had not been told about being the subject of FBI referrals.
Canseco said he tried to contact Ordonez several months ago to talk about his books but did not hear back from the 33-year-old outfielder. Canseco refused to say whether Ordonez would be named in connection with performance-enhancing drugs in Canseco's second book.
Ordonez said he didn't want to talk in detail about Canseco.
"I don't want any problems," Ordonez said. "He is probably desperate for money. I don't understand why he is trying to put people down."
• Former major-leaguer Chuck Knoblauch has not been tracked down by federal marshals trying to serve him a subpoena from a House panel investigating steroids in baseball, a committee staffer told The Associated Press.
• Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, 23, and the Colorado Rockies finalized a $31 million, six-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.
• Rafael Betancourt, one of the American League's top relievers last season, agreed to a $5.4 million, two-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, who avoided going to salary arbitration with the right-hander.
• Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt agreed to a $3 million, one-year deal to join the Cincinnati Reds' rotation.
• San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers received a two-year contract extension that runs through 2010 and is thought to put him among the top five or six highest-paid GMs in baseball.
• The New York Yankees had a record payroll of $218.3 million last season, according to information received by clubs from the commissioner's office. The Mariners' payroll was $114.4 million.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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