Giants

No verdict reached Friday in Bonds trial

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No verdict reached Friday in Bonds trial

April 8, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO (APCSN) -- The eight-woman, four-man panel did not return a verdict in the first full day of deliberations in the perjury trial of former Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

They will return Monday at 8:30, when they will re-hear the testimony of Kathy Hoskins, who said she witnessed trainer Greg Anderson inject Bonds in the abdomen while she was at Bonds' house.

Earlier Friday, they had filed back into the courtroom with their first question, and it was one that had to make prosecutors happy.

"We request the following," U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said, reading their note aloud. "The full written transcript of the Steve Hoskins-Greg Anderson digital tape recording from 2003."

In that secretly recorded conversation at the Giants' ballpark, the slugger's just-fired business partner and his then-personal trainer discuss steroids, injections and drug testing. Prosecutors used the tape in an attempt to convince jurors that the greatest home-run hitter in major league history had to know he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

That request and another one later, to hear the testimony of Steve Hoskins' sister, Kathy, were the two moments the jury reached out from its first day of deliberations. Each question involved some of the prosecution's best evidence against the home run king.

The panel worked about seven hours, including lunch and breaks, before adjourning until Monday.

Illston refused to give jurors the full transcript of the Hoskins-Anderson tape, because one wasn't placed in evidence during the trial that began March 21. But she allowed them to rehear the portions of the recording that were first played for them on March 23 and replayed Thursday during the prosecution's closing.

"Everything that I've been doing at this point, it's all undetectable," Anderson said on the tape. "See, the stuff that I have ... we created it. And you can't, you can't buy it anywhere. You can't get it anywhere else."

Anderson, who was sent to prison March 22 because he refused to testify in the Bonds case, was released Friday because the trial was over.

Even without taking the witness stand he was a big presence in the courtroom. On the recording, made by Hoskins, Anderson talks of injecting Bonds. Anderson says he doesn't use one spot, "I move it all over the place" in order to avoid cysts.

Both the prosecution and defense played portions of the recording during the trial, but only the prosecution showed jurors a transcript that allowed them to follow the often-muffled sounds. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow handed out transcripts again Friday while the government portion was played back. When the defense portion was replayed, most of the jurors still were looking down at the prosecution transcript. They were not allowed to take the transcript to the jury room.

While the prosecution also read along, Bonds and his lawyers focused on the jurors, trying to pick up any signals. The 46-year-old former MVP, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and striped tie, seemed more fidgety than he had been during the trial.

Illston told the jury late Friday that Kathy Hoskins' testimony will be read back to them when deliberations resume Monday. Hoskins was Bonds' personal shopper and claims to have seen Anderson inject him with an unknown substance in the navel in 2002.

Bonds is charged with three counts of making false statements to a grand jury in 2003 for denying he knowingly received steroids and human growth hormone from Anderson, and for saying he only allowed doctors to give him injections. He also faces one count of obstruction of justice over those three statements and four others he made to the grand jury that the prosecutors see as misleading or evasive.

Jurors have been very attentive in this high-profile case, the culmination of a federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) that began in 2002. BALCO turned out to be the center of a steroids distribution ring, and Anderson was among the participants.

Each count against Bonds carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison, but federal guidelines indicate a recommended total sentence of 15 to 21 months. For similar offenses earlier in the BALCO case, Illston punished two people with home confinement.

The foreman of the eight-woman, four-man jury was not announced, but the panel seemed to look to a middle-aged man seated in the first row of the jury box for guidance when Illston told them of the Hoskins tape: "The written transcript was not and is not in evidence. The evidence in the case is the digital record, so we can, if that's what you want, play it again, in open court."

Many jurors quickly nodded and said yes.

Two miles away, the Giants the team Bonds was with when he became one of the most-feared hitters of his time were playing their home opener at AT&T Park and Hall of Famer Willie Mays was presenting manager Bruce Bochy with folded up World Series championship flag.

And just as the hearing was ending, Major League Baseball announced Tampa Bay Rays slugger Manny Ramirez was retiring. Ramirez made the decision rather than be suspended for 100 games following a second positive drug test, a person familiar with the events that led to the announcement said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the positive test was not announced.

Prosecutors presented just one piece of direct evidence against Bonds, Kathy Hoskins' eyewitness testimony about Bonds getting the injection at his Bay Area home. But they pointed to much circumstantial evidence.

Steve Hoskins said he saw Anderson, who had a syringe with a needle, walk into the master bedroom at Bonds' spring training home along with the player several times and then lock the door. Former AL MVP Jason Giambi and three other players testified they knowingly received drugs from Anderson.

Bonds told the grand jury he used steroids provided by Anderson, but that the trainer told him they were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream. Prosecutors claim that "little lie" that was an attempt to hide the "big lie" that Bonds achieved his season (73) and career (762) home runs records with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.

Late in the day, Illston instructed the jurors at the behest of the defense that Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella misspoke during his closing argument when he said former Giants Head Athletic Trainer Stan Conte testified that Harvey Shields, another Bonds trainer, used flaxseed oil on the player all the time. Conte never made that claim.

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

SAN FRANCISCO — The field at AT&T Park is covered with patches and small piles of dirt right now, showing the signs of a winter hosting holiday parties and concerts, and a week with plenty of rain. 

For Evan Longoria, though, that grass was a beautiful sight.

A month after a trade that had him switching coasts, Longoria was introduced at a press conference at AT&T Park and ran the usual gauntlet with team employees and season-ticket holders. He spent some time this week looking for housing in the Bay Area, but soon he’ll be back in Scottsdale, getting to know new teammates and preparing his body for the 2018 season. 

Longoria said his workouts have been a bit different with a new staff, but the goal remains the same. He is a player who prides himself on taking the field every day, and that’s one of the traits that drew the Giants to Longoria. He has played at least 156 games in five consecutive seasons, and 160 in four of those seasons. 

It’s no accident that Bruce Bochy has mentioned durability during every media session this season. Andrew McCutchen has a similar track record, and the Giants lineup certainly could use some stability, especially at third base, where seven different players made double-digit starts last season. Longoria will change that. 

“I have a desire to play every day, and I think that that is infectious,” he said. “Players that may feel the grind of a long season or might be in a little bit of a funk offensively or defensively or with pitching, something like that can give you a boost when you have guys around that you know come to play and compete on a daily basis, no matter what the circumstance is.”

[RELATED: Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster]

For Longoria, who turned 32 early in the offseason, the circumstance has changed for the better. After years on the unforgiving turf at The Trop, he comes to a park and division featuring nothing but natural grass. 

“I hope it helps,” he said. “Going on the road (with the Rays), my body definitely felt better when I played on grass. I’m sure that it will help. It’s definitely not going to be a negative. Not playing on the turf anymore is something that crossed my mind as soon as the trade happened.”

Longoria expects to benefit from another aspect of AT&T Park, too. The Rays finished dead last in the majors last year with an average of 15,670 fans per game. Even though their sellout streak ended, the Giants still had an average of more than 40,000 per night. Asked about playing outdoors, Longoria smiled and added, “in front of fans.”

“The environment here is obviously much different, so it’s going to be nice to step into that on a daily basis and play in front of a fan base that’s obviously very storied,” he said. “It helps with energy. It helps with motivation.”

DeBoer's defense of Jones doesn't paint the whole picture

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USATSI

DeBoer's defense of Jones doesn't paint the whole picture

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer passionately defended goaltender Martin Jones following San Jose's 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. For the eighth time in his last 14 starts, Jones allowed four goals, but DeBoer tried to take a look at the bigger picture. 

"You guys like to grab little pictures of things that work for the story your writing," DeBoer told reporters in Denver after he was asked about Jones' recent struggles. 

"It's 14 games. You can go back six games and write whatever story you want. He's having a great year for us. Our goaltending has been excellent all year."

If you look at his save percentage, Jones is not having a great season.

His save percentage in all situations (.9097) is the lowest in his three seasons in teal, and ranks 22nd out of the 34 goalies that have played 1000 minutes in all situations, according to Corsica Hockey. His five-on-five save percentage (.9147) is also the lowest of his teal tenure, and sits 26th out of 30 goalies that have played 1000 five-on-five minutes. 

But save percentage doesn't always tell the whole story, as it doesn't take into account shot quality. As we've written previously, Jones has played behind a loose defense this season.

Among those aforementioned 30 goalies, Jones has faced the highest percentage of high-danger shots, the second-highest percentage of medium-danger shots, and fourth-lowest percentage of low-danger shots. 

Luckily, there's a metric that does take into account shot quality: goals saved above average (GSAA). GSAA works much like Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in baseball, and considers how well a league-average goaltender would do "based on the shot danger faced," according to Corsica's definition.

Jones has been better than his save percentage would indicate. His 0.54 five-on-five GSAA ranks 17th out of the 30 goalies that have played 1000 five-on-five minutes, and his all situations GSAA (8.69) ranks 11th out of 34 goalies that have played 1000 minutes in all situations. 

GSAA has the same downside as WAR, in that it's an accumulative statistic, and favors players that have played more. In order to equalize for playing time, we can look at GSAA/30 shots faced. 

Jones ranks 17th and 10th in five-on-five (0.03) and all situations (0.31) GSAA/30, respectively, among goaltenders that have played 1000 minutes in such circumstances. In other words, Jones has been about average during five-on-five play, and one of the league's better goalies across all situations, at least based on the kind of shots he's faced.

That's not neccessarily "great," but Jones has been better on the whole than his recent play would indicate. Of course, he's also been outplayed in his own crease.

Backup goaltender Aaron Dell not only boasts a higher save percentage than Jones, but his GSAA/30 in five-on-five situations (0.15) and across all strengths (0.44) are also higher than Jones'. Every 30 shots on the penalty kill, Dell (2.05 GSAA/30) saves nearly a goal more than Jones (1.06). 

DeBoer also acknowledged that Dell will have to play more out of necessity, with the Sharks halfway through a stretch of eight games in 13 days. That includes a difficult back-to-back this weekend, hosting the Penguins Saturday and facing the Ducks in Anaheim on Sunday. 

The coach was on to something on Thursday. Yes, Jones has been better than his recenty play, and his season-long save percentage, would indicate. 

But that doesn't mean he's been "great," nor does it mean he's San Jose's better option in net right now.