Home Run King Faces 30 Years in Prison

A grand jury has indicted slugger Barry Bonds on five counts for perjury and obstruction of justice. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for allegedly telling a grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.

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BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

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LUKE BURBANK, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. It's Friday, November 16th. I'm Luke Burbank, dancing up a storm over there.

ALISON STEWART, host:

I'm Alison Stewart.

I was doing my, you know, it's a sort of the "Pulp Fiction" Uma Thurman dance.

BURBANK: That was nice. That was nice.

STEWART: It's good with this music. Thank you.

BURBANK: Hey, remember the other day we were telling you how the governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue - he was praying for rain, the drought has been going on so long, remember that?

Governor SONNY PERDUE (Republican, Georgia): To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm.

STEWART: Literally.

BURBANK: Yeah.

STEWART: It seems it may have worked.

BURBANK: I have to say, I took a kind of a little bit of a suspicious view, but wonder of wonders; miracle of miracles.

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STEWART: According to National Weather Service, Georgia got an inch of rain.

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Mr. TAY ZONDAY (Singer): (Singing) Chocolate Rain…

STEWART: Maybe not "Chocolate Rain."

(Soundbite of song, "Chocolate Rain")

Mr. ZONDAY: (Singing) Some stay dry and others feel the pain. Chocolate rain.

BURBANK: Somebody get Jim Cantore on that because if it actually was chocolate rain…

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song "Chocolate Rain")

Mr. ZONDAY: (Singing) Before the sin. Chocolate rain.

STEWART: Some people didn't approve of the governor praying - separation of church and state - but yet, 250 people out there, praying for rain. And he and Tay Zonday got their wish.

BURBANK: I have to say, if only - because now we have an excuse to play "Chocolate Rain" throughout this hour of the show. I thank you very much Governor Perdue for putting that back into our life.

Coming up on the BPP: We're going to talk about last night's Democratic debate. The gloves - the silky, satiny, Democratic politician gloves came off a little bit last night, and the people were going after Hillary Clinton. We're going to find out more about that.

STEWART: We're also going to talk about movies, some new releases and the many releases taking a good, hard look at the atrocities happening in Iraq.

BURBANK: We're also going to get all the news headlines from our friend Rachel Martin in just a moment.

First though, let's get the BPP's big story.

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BURBANK: Talk about an asterisk. A federal grand jury has indicted baseball slugger Barry Bonds, the sport's all-time homerun king, for perjury and obstruction of justice relating to his alleged use of steroids.

STEWART: Barry Bonds is accused of lying under oath in December of 2003, when he told the grand jury investigating a steroid ring that he had never used banned drugs.

BURBANK: The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that in that 2003 testimony, Bonds admitted to using clear and cream substances provided by one Greg Anderson, his long-time friend and personal trainer. Anderson and BALCO founder, Victor Conte, they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering two years ago.

STEWART: But Bonds reportedly said he was not aware the substances he got from Anderson were illegal steroids, and instead he thought it was a nutritional supplement, flaxseed oil, and a pain-relieving balm for his arthritis.

BURBANK: Bonds, as you probably know, broke Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record this past season. That, of course, happened under a cloud of suspicion that he had used steroids. In spite of the speculation, Bonds was never identified by Major League Baseball as testing positive for steroids.

STEWART: And he has always publicly denied his use of them. And questions on the topic from media have often elicited chilly responses. Here he is in July being asked if he was concerned about the federal investigation that has now resulted in his indictment.

Mr. BARRY BONDS (Baseball Player, San Francisco Giants): He asked me if I was concerned.

Unidentified Man: Are you concern?

Mr. BONDS: And I said, no. But I'm not discussing it so…

Unidentified Man: Well, you're not…

Mr. BONDS: …I haven't been discussing it forever, and I will not discuss it.

Unidentified Man: But you did say…

Mr. BONDS: You guys are going to write your story, what you're going to write, anyway. So just do that, but leave me out.

BURBANK: Well, he's going to be doing a little more discussing of it. It would appear on December 7th, when he's scheduled to appear at a U.S. District Court in San Francisco. In the baseball world - remember that he's a baseball player - Barry Bonds is a free agent after being told late last season that the San Francisco Giants did not want him back next year.

STEWART: That's the BPP Big Story. Now here's Rachel Martin with even more news.

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