Thursday, March 23, 2006

And Bonds Thinks This Is A Good Idea?

Barry Bonds, he of the bulging biceps, a balloon for a head, and of the cream and the clear, intends to sue the authors of the book Game of Shadows. Considering that he's really got nothing to lose here as most people have already made up their minds as to whether Bonds was taking steroids to enhance his ability to hit home runs, this book attempts to lay the foundation for why people have drawn that conclusion.

The lawyer for Bonds claims that the authors of the book, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, used illegally obtained grand jury testimony.
Bonds’ attorneys sent a letter Thursday to an agent for the authors of “Game of Shadows,” alerting them of plans to sue the writers, publisher Gotham Books, the San Francisco Chronicle and Sports Illustrated, which published excerpts this month.

The letter, signed by Alison Berry Wilkinson, an associate of Bonds’ lead attorney, Michael Rains, was posted on the Chronicle’s Web Site. A hearing was tentatively scheduled for Friday in San Francisco Superior Court.
This is about the only way Bonds can go after the authors, SI and the SF Chronicle, because to use the legal theory of libel would put Bonds in a serious quandry. Not only would Bonds have to show that the book's allegations were untrue, but that the authors had to make the statements with malice aforethought as Bonds is a public figure. The problem is trying to prove that the allegations were false. That would likely require Bonds to take the stand in his own defense.

But Bonds' legal team isn't stopping there:
Bonds’ legal team will ask a judge Friday to issue a temporary restraining order forfeiting all profits from publication and distribution, according to the letter. The lawyers plan to file the suit under California’s unfair competition law.

The attorneys will ask a federal judge to initiate contempt proceedings “for the use of illegally obtained” grand jury transcripts the authors used in writing the book. Rains said profits should be forfeited because of that.
And lest you think that Bonds is alone in being accused in the book of using steroids, the book further claims that Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi were both taking steroids.

Baseball Musings has more.

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