November 15, 2007 [LINK / comment]

The indictment of Barry Bonds

Does this mean he really may go to jail? It's hard to believe, and frankly it's a little scary to contemplate what precedent this may set for the future. Well, maybe that's what the professional sports world needs: a good swift kick in the rear. Enough with superstar impunity! Bonds stands accused not of using dope per se, but rather of lying in his testimony to a federal grand jury. (It's like many corrupt political figures and mafia bosses who were convicted of minor technicalities when the Big Crime couldn't be proven.) As ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski wrote, "Bonds all but dared the government to indict him." A jury trial is almost unthinkable, so it will all come down to bargaining between the federal attorney and his defense lawyer. One thing is for sure: he's going to pay a very dear price for having such an over-inflated ego. The indictment will also help stiffen Commissioner Bud Selig's spine in terms of disciplinary powers.

Nationals Park opening

The Washington Nationals's first game in their new home will be an exhibition event against the Baltimore Orioles on March 29, and they are trying to get an evening time slot for a national broadcast on Opening Day: March 30, 2008. (The Red Sox and Athletics will play a two-game series in Japan, the actual first regulation games of the season.) Apparently, the provisional name "Nationals Park" will be in use throughout the inaugural season of the new stadium, after which the Nationals will presumably be able to secure a higher corporate bid for the naming rights. See Washington Post. They finished laying the sod in the outfield a couple days ago, just in time for the cold front, which will inhibit grass-roots growth.