Pointless, Obvious, Unbelievable Lies: How I Hate Them!

No, I'm not talking about Newt's statement that he is still a viable presidential candidate despite his whole staff quitting. But that too.

From the Washington Post:

A Northern California youth baseball league has barred Barry Bonds’ former personal trainer from coaching his son’s team. The president of the Burlingame Youth Baseball Association says Greg Anderson is not a registered coach and is prohibited from being on the field during games.Anderson, who has coached for years, was told of the prohibition after a parent complained about the convicted steroids dealer’s participation….Anderson spent three weeks in prison this year for refusing to testify at Bonds’ trial on charges that he lied about steroids use. Anderson earlier pleaded guilty to steroids distribution. Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Month: Tim Gannon

The choice came down to Greg Anderson or Jack the Ripper...

“Some parents have a problem with him being a coach, but it’s not like he was caught stealing or did some bad things with children.”

Tim Gannon, a real estate broker and father, explaining why he has no problems with Barry Bonds’ steroid-pushing trainer, Greg Anderson, serving as an assistant coach for his son’s Capitol Electric team in the Burlingame Youth Baseball Association, according to an article in Sunday’s New York Times.

It’s seldom that one sees in print a more perfect example of my least favorite rationalization for unethical conduct, “It’s not the worst thing.” This popular and despicable rationalization seeks to excuse bad conduct by comparing it to worse conduct, an intellectually dishonest device that can be used to try to minimize the seriousness of literally any behavior, no matter how heinous. (“Sure, Jack the Ripper did some bad things, but he was no Hitler!” ) It is the ethics embodiment of the dishonest rhetorical technique of the false choice. Continue reading

The Bonds Verdict: Fair Enough

The results of the Barry Bonds trial, which today concluded with the jury finding baseball’s all-time home run champion guilty of obstructing justice by misleading a grand jury investigating the distribution of illegal and banned steroid to professional athletes but unable to agree on the perjury charges, helps to balance the ethical scales. It should silence the shameless Bonds defenders who misused the “innocent until proven guilty” standard to maintain poor Bonds was being unfairly suspected of inflating his biceps, head, statistics and income through the marvels of chemistry, though it was blatant and obvious in dozens of ways. Now he has been proven guilty—not of everything, but for celebrity justice, in a trial where much of the most damaging evidence was withheld from the jury, enough—, so the claims of racism and unfair prosecution will ring even hollower now. Continue reading

The Ethics of Nailing Barry Bonds

Is Barry Bonds getting the Al Capone treatment? Should we care?

Baseball’s all-time home run king Barry Bonds is finally on trial for perjury and obstruction of justice relating to his 2003 testimony before a grand jury that he never knowingly used steroids. It looks like he may get convicted too, even though the one man who could harm him most, his trainer and childhood pal Greg Anderson, once again has refused to testify and is in jail for contempt of court. (Many—including me— believe that Anderson has a promise of a pay-off from Bonds.)

Essentially everyone who isn’t actively trying to protect Bonds, completely ignorant of the facts of his career, or mentally handicapped knows he was lying and knew it at the time of the grand jury hearings. Barry has been both lucky and relentlessly dishonest, however, seemingly happy to spend the millions he made while cheating and permanently damaging his sport, and pleased with himself for retiring in possession of baseball’s most prestigious home run records, the most homers in a single season, and the most homers in a career.  That Bonds achieved these, and several of his Most Valuable Player awards, while enhanced with the surreptitiously induced body chemistry of a Bulgarian weight-lifter in the 1972 Olympics doesn’t seem to faze him at all. Meanwhile, critics are dredging up the old rationalizations to defend Bonds, none of which apply to his current fix. Continue reading