Game of Shadows: One Year Later, New Epilogue Details 2006 Plus More Evidence Against Barry Bonds
The controversial book, Game of Shadows, was released in paperback with a new epilogue written by the authors Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, outlining the year since the book was first published.
It describes Barry Bonds’ 2006 season facing hecklers, boos, chants of ‘BALCO’, and the now-famous toy syringe thrown in his direction in Phoenix. It also details the government’s investigation into perjury and tax evasion charges against Bonds accelerated by the publication of Game of Shadows.
IRS Agent Jeff Novitzky searched for more proof that Bonds had lied under oath in 2003 when he testified that he had never knowingly used steroids instead believing they were an arthritis balm and flaxseed oil. Novitzky sought to re-interview the baseball players who had been witnesses at the BALCO grand jury, other BALCO defendants, Giants personnel, and present and former Bonds trainers and friends.
Three team employees were ordered to testify — athletic trainer Stan Conte, equipment manager Mike Murphy and Harvey Shields, Bonds’ stretching coach. The most telling excerpt came from Murphy.
“For his part, Murphy could document Bonds’ physical changes via the changes in his uniform size. Since joining the Giants, Bonds had gone from a size 42 to a size 52 jersey; from size 10 ½ to size 13 cleats; and from a size 7 1/8 to size 7 ¼ cap, even though he had taken to shaving his head. The changes in his foot and head size were of special interest: medical experts said overuse of Human Growth Hormone could cause an adult’s extremities to begin growing, aping the symptoms of the glandular disorder acromegly.”
In another extremely telling part of the epilogue, Williams and Fainaru-Wada claimed that Novitzky also connected with new witnesses who had seen Bonds using banned drugs. This was a new and very damaging bit of evidence.
Meanwhile, as Bonds was about to surpass Babe Ruth for second on the all-time home run list, people weren’t excited outside of San Francisco. Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully described the imminent event as ‘awkward.’ He went so far as to say he wanted nothing to do with it. “If I had my druthers,” Scully said, “I would rather have that awkward moment happen to somebody else.”
“On March 23, Bonds sued both Gotham Books, the book’s publisher, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Bonds didn’t sue for libel, and he didn’t contend that the reports of his drug use were false. Instead, he claimed that the publication of Game of Shadows had been an illegal “unfair business practice” because the authors had used secret grand jury material in writing their book.”
“Legal experts scoffed at the lawsuit. On his MSNBC show, Keith Olbermann wondered whether Bonds’ filing didn’t make him look ‘more guilty.’”
“A San Francisco judge refused to issue the restraining order Bonds had sought to stop distribution of the book, and he warned Bonds that his lawsuit had little chance of success. Facing a countersuit from the Chronicle, Bonds dropped the complaint.”
The epilogue also describes how close the government was to indicting Bonds on perjury and/or tax evasion charges.
“By June, the prosecutors in San Francisco believed they had built an airtight perjury case: the doping calendars, drug price lists and other documents seized in the raid of Anderson’s home; the secret recording; the testimony of Kim Bell and the new witnesses.”
Federal prosecutor Kevin Ryan refused to pull the trigger. The grand jury’s term expired and Greg Anderson was released from jail. A new grand jury was convened. Anderson was returned to prison, and eventually Ryan stepped down as head of the investigation.
The reporters told Sports Illustrated that they believed there would be a decision one way or another about whether or not to indict Bonds in the next six months.
“My gut feeling is we’re going to know before the end of the season. I think they’ll come to some resolution [on whether to indict] and we’ll hear about it.”