49ers

Bonds' ex-girlfriend tells of threats, steroid use

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Bonds' ex-girlfriend tells of threats, steroid use

March 28, 2011

Editor's note: Follow all the developments at the trial with Henry Wofford's Twitter feed (@HenryWoffordCSN) from the courtroom. We'll have comprehensive analysis on SportsNet Central tonight.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Kimberly Bell, her voice cracking, looked out at the court room and talked about the final stretch of her nine-year relationship with Barry Bonds.The greatest hitter of his era threatened "to cut my head off and leave me in a ditch," she said. "More than once."She said Bonds told her "he would cut out my breast implants because he paid for them."As for the Arizona house he had helped pay for, "he told me he would burn it down."Bonds' federal trial resumed Monday with nearly daylong testimony from his former mistress, who said the slugger attributed a 1999 elbow injury to steroids use. She also discussed how Bonds became verbally abusive and said that his physique changed, offering a lurid description of his shrinking testicles, back acne, scalp hair that fell out and chest hair that turned gray. Such mental and physical symptoms are associated with steroid use.Prosecutors allege Bonds lied when he told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.Bell met Bonds in 1994 and testified that from 1999 to 2001, "he was just increasingly aggressive, irritable, agitated, very impatient."MOSKOWITZ: Excitement ahead in Week 2 of Bonds trial
In testimony similar to that of former Bonds business partner Steve Hoskins last week, she said that in at least two different years at spring training, she saw Bonds and personal trainer Greg Anderson "go into a bedroom off the kitchen and close and lock the door."She said Anderson "would always have a little satchel with him." She saw those scenes played out multiple times.Prosecutors claim Anderson, who has been jailed for refusing to testify, repeatedly injected Bonds with performance-enhancing drugs.Dressed in a gray pantsuit and white shirt, and with deep lines under her eyes, Bell answered 72 minutes of prosecution questions and was pressured during 4 hours, 15 minutes of questioning from the defense, who tried to portray her as a gold digger, a scorned former lover, a liar and the instigator of a mortgage fraud scheme.Defense lawyer Cristina Arguedas brought up an interview Bell gave Playboy and a television appearance on Geraldo Rivera."You have taken many opportunities to disparage Barry Bonds ... in the most vulgar ways possible?" Arguedas said in a question that was more a statement."Did you go on Howard Stern's radio show?" Arguedas continued. "Does he do anything that isn't vulgar?"When Arguedas repeated: "Did you say vulgar things about Barry Bonds?" Bell answered: "Please refresh my memory."With that, Arguedas took a break to talk with Allen Ruby, Bonds' lead lawyer. After a few moments, Arguedas told the court: "We're going to decline that opportunity to go into the gutter. No more questions."At the start of the day, Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy testified that Bonds' hat size increased from 7 14 to 7 3-8 in 2002. Murphy said that while Willie Mays and Willie McCovey needed larger hats, their increases did not happen until after they had retired as players.Former Giants head athletic trainer Stan Conte is to testify Tuesday along with former AL MVP Jason Giambi, brother Jeremy Giambi and Randy Velarde, other players linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which ran a steroids distribution ring.While there were empty seats in the court room last week, the wood benches were filled for Bell's testimony and about a dozen people waited on line outside for one of the approximately 50 seats available to the public.Bell testified Bonds revealed his steroids use to her only once, between 1999 and 2000 at her apartment."He had an injury on his elbow and it was a big lump on his elbow," she said. "It looked really awful, and he said it was because of steroids. ... somehow it caused the muscle and the tendons to grow faster than the joint itself could handle."Bonds had left elbow surgery on April 20, 1999, and was on the disabled list until June 9. He holds the MLB records for home runs in a career (762) and a single season (73).Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Nedrow, Bell said Bonds told her "he didn't shoot it up every day like body builders did.""That's how they were getting ahead, that's how they were achieving, by using steroids," she quoted Bonds as saying. She went on to say this was the period "when Mark McGwire was breaking records."Dressed in a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and blue-and-silver patterned tie, Bonds alternately watched Bell on the stand, scribbled notes and whispered to one of his defense attorneys, Allen Ruby. A few times, Bonds put on reading glasses.Bell met Bonds briefly outside Candlestick Park on July 3, 1994, when she was introduced by Kathy Hoskins, a former personal shopper for Bonds who also is expected to testify."He said: 'Damn girl, you're fine,'" said Bell, who occasionally dabbed at tears.She attended a barbecue the next day at Bonds' mother's house, and Bonds arrived with Bobby Bonilla. From there, they shared a romantic relationship that continued even after Bonds married Liz Watson, who became his second wife in 1999.In anticipation of defense attempts to discredit Bell, Nedrow asked about an interview and nude photograph shoot she did with Playboy that appeared in 2007."I was trying to put my life together," she testified. "Maybe it wasn't the best decision."Bell testified that Playboy agreed to pay her 100,000, but sent the money to her agent, David Hans Schmidt. Schmidt committed suicide in 2007 while under investigation for allegedly attempting to extort the actor Tom Cruise and Bell said she saw little of the Playboy payment - "about 17,000 or 18,000."While Ruby cross-examined the first four witnesses, Arguedas spent most of Monday trying to portray Bell as a jilted woman who had broken off her previous relationship on the day she was to be married.When Bonds told her in 1998 that he was going to marry Watson, Bell said the player told her "you can come see me on road trips." Bell testified that after Bonds married, he told her there were "girlfriend cities and wife cities" and that she wasn't allowed to travel with him to New York, Montreal and Atlanta.Bell said she went instead to San Diego, Houston and Miami. She recalled bitterly how Bonds told her to find her own way home from after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when commercial airlines were shut down and Bonds was on the team charter."Barry abandoned me in Houston after 9-11," she said.Arguedas ran through a litany of financial benefits Bell received in "this position you had, as the girlfriend for road trips." Bonds bought her several cars and paid the down payment for her house in North Scottsdale, Ariz. Arguedas repeatedly brought up forms Bell signed in which she said it would be her secondary home, trying to portray Bell as a liar.Arguedas also quizzed Bell about an e-mail she sent to Bonds' website in April 2004, almost a year after their breakup on May 23, 2003. Bell said she listed all the women she knew that Bonds was sleeping with: a model in New York, another woman in Las Vegas and "the stripper from Phoenix.""This is the guy who you described as having penile dysfunction," Arguedas said. "That's a lot of action."Bonds covered his mouth in an apparent attempt to suppress a grin."I don't know what he was doing with them," Bell responded. "I can only imagine."

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

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AP

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
 
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
 
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
 
Talent.
 
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
 
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
 
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
 
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
 
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
 
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

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AP

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.