Bonds’ indictment charges cut from 11 counts to five

According to ESPN.com, Barry Bonds will have to be arraigned and enter a plea next month for the third time since he was initially charged in 2007 with lying to a federal grand jury about his steroid use.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Friday ordered Bonds to enter his new plea after prosecutors revised the charges against him, cutting his indictment from 11 counts to five. Bonds is expected to plead not guilty for the third time at a hearing March 1. His trial is scheduled to begin March 21.

Illston said she will rule later on Bonds’ demands to exclude from trial a recorded conversation between Bonds’ former business partner, Stevie Hoskins, and Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson. The hearing to exclude the evidence began Thursday morning in San Francisco federal court.

The recording was made by Hoskins in March 2003. Anderson can be heard discussing an undetectable substance he appears to have given Bonds. Prosecutors allege Anderson is talking about a designer steroid they say showed up in a Bonds urine test.

Bonds’ attorneys want to exclude the recording from the trial because of Anderson’s refusal to testify at the trial. They argue the tape can’t be authenticated without Anderson’s testimony.

The thing that has always got me about Bonds is that he didn’t need roids to be great because he was already great. You talk about a naturally gifted baseball player, that was Barry Lamar Bonds. As the legend goes, the guy once sat in the dugout during spring training and correctly predicted, in order and out loud to his teammates, what pitch the pitcher would throw for nearly three batters. That’s how in-tune to the game Bonds was.

But his own ego got him in the end. He wanted to be remembered as the greatest player to have ever lived, so he used steroids to extend his career so that he could become the home run king*. He didn’t need steroids to be great – he needed them to extend his career.

And steroids are what he’ll be remembered for, which is kind of ironic if you ask me.

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