MLB’s all-time home run leader Barry Bonds says he feels like a “weight [was] lifted" off his shoulders after the federal government decided not to pursue an appeal of his obstruction of justice conviction.
Bonds was found guilty in 2011 of an obstruction charge after his testimony in the 2003 BALCO case. He had been asked by a federal grand jury if his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, gave him any performance-enhancing drugs, or any other substance, that could be self-injected into his body via a syringe. That conviction was upheld in 2013, but an appeals court tossed out the conviction in April, and prosecutors decided not to file a Supreme Court review after the deadline passed on Wednesday.
"It'd be not true if I said there wasn't some weight lifted off my shoulders," Bonds told the Associated Press. "So I'm thankful that it's over. I'm appreciative of things, and it's time to just move forward. For me, it's just move forward."
Bonds, a seven-time National League Most Valuable Player winner, says there is no question that he is a Hall of Famer.
"I don't even justify that. There's no need," he said. "That's without saying."
In the three years he has been eligible for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Bonds has received 36.2%, 34.7% and 36.8% of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
"I don't mind if people get on me at times, I don't mind that stuff," Bonds said. "That's part of the game, that's part of the business. I know now that I'm retired more so than when I was playing.
"I think when you're playing and you're giving all you can, you want people to praise you more than being negative toward you. After being away for a while, some people just say you mature a little bit later. Got it after the fact."
- Scooby Axson