TIME Baseball

New York Mets Wear NYPD Caps in Tribute to Slain Policeman Brian Moore

New York Mets Daniel Murphy wears a New York Police Department hat, May 5, 2015
Kathy Willens—AP New York Mets Daniel Murphy wears a New York Police Department hat, May 5, 2015

The Mets previously wore NYPD caps to honor 9/11 first responders

The New York Mets baseball team donned caps featuring the NYPD logo during batting practice on Tuesday in honor of slain police officer Brian Moore.

Moore died Monday after being shot while attempting to capture a man wielding a firearm in the city’s borough of Queens.

“It’s part of what we think is important and certainly, honoring Officer Moore is important today and so we are wearing them and wearing them with pride,” New York Mets manager Terry Collins told the Associated Press.

New York’s Citi Field also featured a banner honoring Moore’s legacy and held a moment of silence to celebrate his work.

Previously, the Mets wore NYPD and FDNY caps to honor the work of New York’s first responders during 9/11.

TIME Music

James Taylor’s Latest Song, ‘Angels of Fenway,’ Is an Ode to the Boston Red Sox

It's taken from his first album in 13 years, which is set for release on June 16

Fans in attendance for Sunday’s Yankees vs. Red Sox game at Fenway Park got a sampler from what will be James Taylor’s first album in 13 years when he debuted his single “Angels of Fenway” — an ode to the Boston Red Sox — at the ground.

Taylor wrote the song to chronicle his experience as a fan, focusing on the 2004 World Series championship team that finally broke the “curse of the Bambino” and won the franchise’s first championship in 86 years.

“In 2004, that miracle season, that incredible thing that happened and what it meant to Red Sox fans, and to the city of Boston, to all of New England … it moved me deeply and I knew I wanted to write about it,” Taylor said.

According to the Associated Press, the song was played through the public address system prior to the game and was accompanied by a music video featuring iconic moments from Red Sox history — like a shot of Curt Schilling’s iconic bloody sock.

The 67-year-old Taylor also threw out the ceremonial first pitch and sang the traditional seventh-inning stretch anthem “America the Beautiful.”

Taylor is scheduled to perform a concert at Fenway Park with Bonnie Raitt on Aug. 6.

Before This World will be released June 16 and “Angels of Fenway” will be featured on the album. Fans of the song can purchase it on iTunes along with “Today Today Today,” which was released last month.

TIME Baseball

Inside an Empty Camden Yards

The Baltimore Orioles kept fans out of Wednesday's game in the wake of Monday's violence around the city

Ah, the sounds of Baltimore Orioles baseball, on a day where there were no fannies in the seats. Pop, echoing throughout the empty stadium, when the ball hit the catcher’s mitt. Thwack, bat on ball, especially during Baltimore’s first inning, when the Orioles took a 6-0 over the Chicago White Sox. (Silent sluggers, these guys). And plunk, as foul balls bounced off the seats with no fans. (Who’s on foul ball cleanup duty?)

This eerie game—official paid attendance, zero—went off as advertised on Wednesday, and it was as surreal as everyone expected. As a public safety caution in the wake of the violence that erupted Monday—following the April 19 death of a 25-year-old black man, Freddie Gray, who sustained a fatal injury while in police custody—the Orioles decided to keep fans out of Camden Yards. (Protests, mostly peaceful, continued into Wednesday evening. Hundreds walked through the streets, and a crowd was present at City Hall.)

Still, the national anthem played, a public address announcer spoke to a few members of the public, and the organ hit the notes of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” also blared over the loudspeaker. Outside the home plate entrance, a security guard acknowledged this was the easiest gig she’s ever had, as only a few media members strolled by.

Baltimore won, 8-2, in brisk two hours and three minutes, to the delight of the players. “If you want to talk about the pace of play, we might have found a solution,” Baltimore pitcher Tommy Hunter joked in the locker room afterwards. “We might have found something today.”

For businesses around Camden Yards, the day wasn’t as blissful. “Look around,” says Mandy Goddard, a bartender at Pickles Pub, across the street from the ballpark. “It’s all news reporters. There are two actual customers.” A manager for the pub says business is down 90% from a regular game. The postponement of two Orioles games earlier this week, the empty game today and the move of a three-game home series—starting May 1—to Tampa is costing Goddard. She estimates that she makes $100 to $400 on game days. “In my tip bucket right now, there’s $8,” Goddard says. She doesn’t like the team’s approach to this week’s games, though she says she understands why the Orioles are being so cautious, given the flare-ups near a game last Saturday night.

As first pitch approached, and a few players stretched on the field, the speakers played the cheesy 80s song “Party All The Time.” Right before the first pitch, one of the few dozen fans who gathered behind a left center field gate, and on Hilton balconies overlooking the ballpark, yelled, “Hey, good luck,” for everyone to hear. Orioles first baseman Chris Davis called the silence “deafening,” though he got plenty used to it, as he smacked a long three-run home run to right in the bottom of the first. The ball landed on Eutaw Street, in front of the famous B&O Warehouse, just the 80th shot to travel such a long distance since the ballpark opened in 1992. Davis said the small signs of normalcy—the public address system and a batter’s individualized walkup music, sprinkles of crowd noise from beyond the gates—at least offered the veneer of a routine. Davis even stuck to his tradition of tossing balls into the stands after an inning, even though no invisible hands were there to catch them. “It’s just reaction, I thought it would be fun,” Davis says. “I gave some love to the fans in the upper deck.”

The spectators with actual flesh, outside the stadium, were able to see the obstructed action, and offer an occasional, and very audible, “Let’s Go Orioles” chant. Chris Petro, a sound engineer at a local rock club, decided to rent out room 567 at the Hilton, whose balcony offered at least a partial view of the action. He expected around 15 friends to rotate in and out during the day. One of them was a local funeral director, done for the day, who was drinking National Bohemian—”Natty Boh”—a beer with local roots. “Why not throw a party, with booze, beer and my dog?” says Petro, whose black lab, Sara Sue, lay on the living room floor. “It’s nothing without her.” The bill came to $260 for the room—plus an extra $50 for Sara Sue.

In the fifth inning, the few dozen fans had something more to cheer about. Manny Machado hit another Orioles home run, giving Baltimore an 8-2 lead. The crowd standing against the fence in left center couldn’t see the ball clear the wall, so they looked for clues. Here, they saw Machado’s start to trot, then raised their arms and yelled. The delayed reaction—no noise after a ball goes over a wall—freaked Machado out a bit. “It’s a weird feeling, running around the bases and no hearing anything,” he says. “That’s crazy, something that never happens. Never happens. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Hopefully, the quirks of this game won’t have to be repeated. The serious circumstances lingered. On the room 567 balcony, the mood turned serious when bartender Crystal Dunn reflected on the impact of the violent protests and citywide curfews. “It’s hurting everyone,” Dunn says. “And tourists are going to to afraid to come here. It’s going to have a rippling effect.”

During a news conference after the game, a young man who said he lived in a Baltimore neighborhood where tensions are high addressed Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. He asked Showalter his advice for the city’s young black people. “You hear people try to weigh in on things that they don’t really know anything about,” Showalter said. “I’ve never been black, OK? So I don’t know, I can’t put myself there … It’s a pet peeve of mine when somebody says, ‘Well, I know what they’re feeling. Why don’t they do this? Why doesn’t somebody do that?’ You have never been black, OK, so slow down a little bit.” (Read Showalter’s full response here)

One fan standing in left center, Brendan Hurson, a federal public defender, carried a sign that read “Don’t Forget Freddie Gray,” with the o’s styled like the team’s logo. He disagrees with the team’s decision to play the game with no fans. “It shows fear, and it’s divisive,” Hurson says. To him, keeping fans out symbolized the current state of Baltimore. “So many young people are locked out of the life they want to lead,” Hurson says. “This is such a stark reminder.”

Read next: How Baltimore Police Lost Control in 90 Minutes

TIME Baseball

See the Orioles Playing in an Empty Stadium After Baltimore Riots

The Baltimore Orioles bat against the Chicago White Sox during a baseball game without fans on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Due to security concerns the game was closed to the public.
Gail Burton—AP The Baltimore Orioles bat against the Chicago White Sox during a baseball game without fans on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Due to security concerns the game was closed to the public.

The game was closed to the public

The Baltimore Orioles played to an empty stadium Wednesday after unrest in the city led the team to close the game to the public.

As previously reported, the team delayed the first two games in a series against the White Sox to a May 28 doubleheader, after closing the stadium during riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. Wednesday’s game went forward, but without any fans in the stands. Some tried to get a view of the game nevertheless, as reported by TIME senior writer Sean Gregory, who was on the scene:


This Ball Park Is Banning Peanuts for Allergy Awareness Night

Baseball fans will have to go without the popular snack for one night

What’s a baseball game without peanuts? Indianapolis is about to find out when America’s national pastime goes without its most iconic snack Wednesday at Victory Field as a part of Peanut Allergy Awareness Night.

“We’ve received calls from fans over the years about not being able to come to the ballpark due to peanut allergy,” Jon Glesing, the Indianpolis Indians’ senior marketing and communications manager, told the Indianapolis Star. “Awareness for this is far from new in baseball, [but] we’re finally at a point we can coordinate an awareness night.”

The game against the Louisville Bats is the Indians’ first night of its kind in a stadium that typically sells more than 30,000 peanut bags per season. Peanuts, cracker jack and peanut M&Ms will not be sold, and those sitting in lawn seating will be barred from bringing their own peanut snacks. But as the Indians themselves noted on their website, despite cleaning efforts, there may still be be peanut particles in the stadium.

“[The event] does not mean the ballpark will be completely peanut-free,” the team warned. “Fans with peanut allergies should exercise their normal precautions.”


TIME Baseball

Baltimore Orioles to Play Game in Empty Stadium in Wake of Riots

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Greg Fiume—Getty Images An empty Oriole Park at Camden Yards is shown after the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox was postponed on April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The team has been postponing games in response to unrest in Baltimore

The Baltimore Orioles will play a game against the Chicago White Sox in an empty stadium on Wednesday, the team has announced.

Tuesday’s decision came in the wake of violent disorder in the city after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after being injured while in police custody.

The team had already postponed the first two games in the series, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The third game will be played as scheduled on Wednesday, but the stadium will be closed to the public. The first two games will be made up in a doubleheader on May 28.

Ongoing unrest also appears to be the cause of the team relocating a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, originally scheduled to take place on their home field of Oriole Park on May 1 to 3, to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Ticket holders to all six affected games will be able to exchange their plans for another date.


TIME Maryland

White Sox-Orioles Game Postponed After Baltimore Riots

(BALTIMORE) — The Baltimore Orioles postponed a second straight game against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday after a night of rioting near Camden Yards.

Public schools were shut, and Baltimore’s mayor imposed a 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew.

The Orioles called off the game after consulting with Major League Baseball, and state and local officials.

No makeup dates were announced. The White Sox were in town for a three-game series that had been slated to start Monday, and it was their only planned visit on the schedule.

Monday’s game was postponed around 40 minutes before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. start. The decision came after riots broke out following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 of spinal cord and other injuries sustained while in police custody. Tuesday’s game, also scheduled for 7:05, was called off shortly after 11 a.m.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was in Baltimore on Monday for a trip that was planned long ago. He took part in the decision to postpone Monday’s game.

“All I want to say about that is we are looking at every possible alternative in terms of completing the schedule in a timely way and making sure the games are played in a security situation that is safe for the fans,” he said Monday night. “We are going to look at every alternative at this point.”

That included the possibility of moving the series to Nationals Park in Washington.

Such a move would not be unprecedented.

In 1992, the Dodgers had four games postponed in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict.

TIME Sports

How Night Games Changed Baseball History

1934 Kansas City Monarchs
Transcendental Graphic / Getty Images The Kansas City Monarchs of 1934 pose for a team photo

Electric lights and racial integration have a surprising connection

J. L. “Wilkie” Wilkinson, a baseball team owner, needed to put more bodies in seats. It was 1930, the year after the stock market had crashed, and the Depression was taking its toll. Not even baseball was safe: One team had folded; a whole league disbanded. Wilkinson owned the Kansas City Monarchs, a winning team, but their daytime games made it impossible for working fans to attend. Additionally, the Monarchs were members of the Negro National League and didn’t have their own stadium. Under the shadow of Jim Crow, where few stores and hotels would cater to them, playing baseball required lots of travel in unwelcoming conditions. And, while mostly black crowds attended the Monarchs’ games, the efforts to attract new white fans were fruitless.

Wilkinson yearned for a financial home run and tried everything to keep the team going. In the 1920s, he lowered the price of seats from $1.10 to $.75; he halved the price of tickets for women on Ladies Night. Now more desperate, Wilkinson, who was white, took a bigger gamble. He mortgaged everything he owned to pursue a radical idea: playing baseball at night, when fans weren’t at work. If he could just figure out how to help fans see the game, he figured, they would come. It wasn’t a totally new idea—night baseball had been batted about by professional and amateur teams for years; and a team from Independence, Kans., lays claim to hosting the first-ever such home game exactly 85 years ago, on April 28, 1930—but nobody had really made it work as a long-term solution.

The technology for nighttime baseball had significantly improved in the years since the first attempts had been made. Help came in the form of a mild-mannered Massachusetts-born General Electric physicist, William David Coolidge, who made floodlights possible. While Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the light bulb, his were short lived. The wire threads, or filaments, that they used to generate light burned out quickly or broke. Coolidge worked for years to make filaments with longer-lasting lives. The element tungsten, a silvery metal with the highest melting point on the periodic table, was an excellent candidate for a material, except that it had one major flaw. Tungsten snapped like chalk when drawn into a wire thread. When Coolidge “baked” tungsten, he eventually discovered, it became pliable. And, with Wilkinson’s pioneering idea, it was tungsten wire set in a bulb that would eventually beam light onto the baseball diamond.

Wilkinson’s great innovation was to commission the Giant Manufacturing Company of Iowa to make a portable lighting system. Six floodlights on telescoping poles nearly 50 ft. tall were mounted on flatbed trucks located throughout the field. The lights could go on the road with the Monarchs, an advantage not available to some of the other teams that introduced night games that same season. The electric lights were a sight to behold, since fewer than 10% of farms in America had electricity in the early 1930s. The novelty of the portable lights at baseball games, Wilkinson hoped, would act as the flame to the proverbial moth.

And it worked. With those lights the fans also saw the dawn of a new era—the beginning of nighttime baseball games, a full five years before Major League Baseball would follow their lead. Attendance that first Monarchs season grew from 5,000 to 12,000 to a peak of 15,000 people. Thanks to their portability, Wilkinson’s lights acted as beacons for fans of all races—and helped the Monarchs survive the Depression, which would have echoes throughout the history of baseball: Years later, Jackie Robinson would get his start with the Kansas City Monarchs, before moving on to the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing his first game April 15, 1947, and opening up baseball even more.

Ainissa Ramirez is a scientist and author (Newton’s Football, Save Our Science). She co-hosts a 2-minute science podcast called Science Underground.

TIME Baseball

The 11 Craziest Foods Sold at Ballparks This Year

Hit the concession stands at ballparks this year, and you’ll find Fried S’mOreo, 8,000-calorie burgers, and many more delights

Correction appended, April 27


It’s the great American pastime: gorging on obscenely unhealthy food.

Over recent Major League Baseball seasons, over-the-top ballpark foods have become their own attraction. These bombastic new recruits of the concession stands are often riffs on ballpark classics like the hot dog and hamburger, but they’re jacked up and deep fried into stunt food territory.

They can also cost $25 or more a pop — and still sell. One report has the Texas Rangers moving nearly 20,000 of their first $26 creation in 2012. And now, a look at some foods that may knock you out in the park.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Dog

This season, the Wilmington Blue Rocks partnered with Krispy Kreme to unleash a hot dog with a glazed doughnut bun, which can be topped with bacon and raspberry jelly if you please. The MiLB team left the naming of this creation up to the fans, and whoever made the best suggestion won a prize package, including throwing the first pitch on opening night.

Diamondbacks D-Bat Dog

Here we have an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon, and if that’s not filling enough, it also comes with fries. The whole shebang goes for $25 at the MLB team’s Chase Field.

Poutine Dog

Last year, the MLB’s Detroit Tigers Comerica Park (the same park that brought baseball fans the half-bacon, half-beef 50/50 Burger), presented a new $7 offering that’s like a hot dog wearing disco fries, but done in the style of their Canadian neighbors. They also offered three other messy dog styles: one topped with bacon, egg and cheese, one with pork and beans, and one with Coney Island chili and cole slaw.

The Walk Off

This one is not a hot dog, but still a tubular meat and worthy of mention. Dempsey’s Brew Pub at the Baltimore Orioles’ stomping ground Camden Yards introduced The Walk Off ($16) in 2013, consisting of an Old Bay Roma sausage on a pretzel roll topped with Dempsey’s house-made Old Bay crab dip.

Funnel Dog

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals’ Arvest Ballpark began selling this funnel cake-ensconced dog on a stick in 2008 for a price that now seems quaint: $3.50. “Sometimes the best ideas happen by accident,” the MiLB team’s general manager Eric Edelstein said at the time. “This is one of those stories, and I’m confident you won’t see this concoction anywhere else other than Arvest Ballpark.” Little did he know where ballpark dogs would go after that.

Baseball’s Best Burger

For $5, the minor league team Gateway Grizzlies’ GCS Ballpark serves Baseball’s Best Burger, a variant on the Luther Burger. This version is a deep-fried Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughtnut used as a hamburger bun, with an Angus beef patty topped with cheddar cheese and bacon. The Grizzlies have also offered Philly Cheesesteak Nachos.

Last season, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Stadium presented the Fan Vs. Food challenge, offering a pair of tickets to anyone who could put away their $30 four-pound burger…plus one pound of fries. The burger had eight 8oz patties, 32 slices of bacon, and at least eight slices of cheese. Sports Illustrated estimated the burger at 8320 calories, and that’s without counting the fries.

The Fifth Third Burger

The minor league West Michigan Whitecaps’ Fifth Third Ballpark offers this pile of food, weighing in at more than four pounds. The $20 Fifth Third Burger has five one-third-pound burgers (making five thirds of a pound), a cup of chili, five slices of American cheese, salsa, nacho cheese, Fritos, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and jalapenos. Anyone who can consume this bomb of 4,800-plus calories and nearly 300 grams of fat in one shot wins a T-shirt. The ballpark also sells the Baco, a bacon-encased taco.

Fried S’mOreo

New this season for Texas Rangers fans is this marshmallow flanked by Oreos on a skewer, breaded in graham crackers and deep fried, then drizzled with chocolate sauce ($8) and the park is also selling deep-fried battered corn on the cob, bacon cotton candy, and bacon beer. If this lineup seems especially dastardly, it’s because when it comes to attention-grabbing, artery-jamming concession items, the Texas Rangers have been around the bases a few times before.

In fact, they should be named MVP of stadium stunt food. In 2012, they introduced the Boomstick ($26), which is two feet (one pound) of hot dog topped with chili, cheese, and onions (which you can get “Totally Rossome” for $32 topped with brisket, pico, sour cream, and Doritos), followed by the one-pound Beltre Buster burger topped in half a pound of bacon ($26). In 2014 came the Tanaco two-foot beef and chicken taco($26), the two-foot Kaboom Kabob ($13), and the Choomongous two-foot Korean beef sandwich ($26).

Pulled Pork Parfait

Last year, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park rolled out the Pulled Pork Parfait. This $7 creation consists of layers of mashed potatoes alternating with layers of pulled pork, and topped with gravy and chives. For $13, Miller Park also offers The Beast, a turducken-esque bratwurst stuffed with a hot dog, wrapped in bacon, topped with sauerkraut and onions, and served on a pretzel roll.

The Closer

The pub and restaurant at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park serves this triple-decker grilled cheese with nine cheeses and candied bacon, granny smith apple slices, and leek compote. The $14 sandwich, named for former Pirate Jason Grilli, is really a stack of three grilled cheeses, with different cheese pairings in each one.

Bigger Better Burger Bloody Mary

Combining two classic ways to cure a hangover (greasy food and hair of the dog), this $18 beverage was offered at the Twins’ Target Field last year. It featured a bacon double cheeseburger slider as garnish, among other garnishes like cheese cubes and the more traditional pickles and celery.

This post originally appeared on Fortune.com

Correction: The original version of this story and the headline incorrectly described the ballparks listed and a concession available. The list includes all types of professional baseball parks, and the “Strasburger” and the Washington Nationals’ ballpark is no longer available.

TIME Baseball

Bonds’ Obstruction Conviction Thrown Out by Appeals Court

Bonds claimed he didn't know substances he used were steroids

(NEW YORK) — Barry Bonds has been cleared legally after 11 1/2 years in court. His reputation remains tainted in the mind of many baseball fans.

A federal court of appeals threw out the career home run leader’s obstruction of justice conviction on Wednesday, ruling 10-1 that his meandering answer before a grand jury in 2003 was not material to the government’s investigation into illegal steroids distribution.

“Today’s news is something that I have long hoped for,” Bonds said in a statement. “I am humbled and truly thankful for the outcome as well as the opportunity our judicial system affords to all individuals to seek justice.”

Now 50, Bonds said “I am excited about what the future holds for me as I embark on the next chapter.”

Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s long-standing career record of 755 homers in 2007, finished that season with 762 and was indicted that December for his testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, when he answered a question about injections by saying he was “a celebrity child.”

He was convicted of the obstruction charge in 2011, and a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the conviction in 2013.

But the larger group, which listened to arguments from prosecutors and Bonds’ lawyers last September, concluded there was insufficient evidence his initial evasive answer was material to the grand jury’s probe.

“The most one can say about this statement is that it was non-responsive and thereby impeded the investigation to a small degree by wasting the grand jury’s time and trying the prosecutors’ patience,” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote. “Real-life witness examinations, unlike those in movies and on television, invariably are littered with non-responsive and irrelevant answers.”

Jessica Wolfram, one of the jurors who convicted Bonds following the three-week trial and four days of deliberations, said she couldn’t help but feel the decade-long prosecution was “all a waste, all for nothing.”

“Just a waste of money, having the whole trial and jury,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

In testifying before the grand jury, Bonds claimed he didn’t realize substances he used were illegal performance-enhancing drugs. The appellate judges based their decision on legal issues involving witness testimony, not the underlying facts.

Despite holding the career and season home run marks — he hit a single-year record 73 in 2001 — Bonds has been denied entry into baseball’s Hall of Fame by baseball writers. He appeared on 36.8 percent of ballots this year, less than half the 75 percent needed.

“I think sadly his reputation has been tarnished, not because of the indictment or the reversal, but because of all the PED use,” former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent said. “I think the public has made up its mind.”

Roger Clemens, whose pitching feats were as accomplished as Bonds’ batting achievements, also has been denied Hall entry. Clemens was acquitted in 2012 of criminal charges he lied to Congress when he denied using PEDs.

Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called the decision “almost meaningless for the real issue, which is whether he used performance-enhancing drugs to cheat the fans of baseball.”

“I think at the end of the day America knows the truth and who the real home run record holder is, who did it the right way, and it’s obviously not Barry Bonds,” he said.

Following the trial that opened in March 2011, a jury deadlocked on three counts charging Bonds with making false statements when he denied receiving steroids and human growth hormone from personal trainer Greg Anderson and denied receiving injections from Anderson or his associates.

Bonds was convicted for his response when he was asked whether Anderson ever gave him “anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with.”

“That’s what keeps our friendship,” Bonds said. “I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don’t get into other people’s business because of my father’s situation, you see.”

Judges divided on their rationale, issuing four separate opinions to reverse the conviction and one to uphold it. The appeals court barred a retrial, citing a prohibition on double jeopardy.

Kozinski, writing for himself and four other judges, was concerned the obstruction statute, “stretched to its limits … poses a significant hazard for everyone involved in our system of justice, because so much of what the adversary process calls for could be construed as obstruction.”

Wolfram remembered there being some confusion among the jurors over the fact that Bonds did answer the question later in his grand jury testimony. Bonds did not testify at the trial.

Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson, the only member of the court to back prosecutors, wrote an opinion filled with baseball references that began “there is no joy in this dissenting judge,” added the judges who sided with Bonds “have struck out” and concluded “I cry foul.”

The government could ask the 11-judge panel to reconsider Wednesday’s decision or could request that all 29 judges on the 9th Circuit rehear the case — which has never happened since the court began using the “limited en banc” panels in 1980.

Prosecutors also could petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.

“I could not be more happy that Barry Bonds finally gets to move on with his life,” BALCO founder Victor Conte said. “Let’s hope the prosecutors choose not to waste any more resources on what has been nothing more than a frivolous trophy-hunt and a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.”

A seven-time NL MVP and the son of three-time All-Star Bobby Bonds, Barry Bonds earned $192.8 million from the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants during a professional career from 1985-07 and could afford a legal team that outnumbered the government’s 13-5 in the court room.

He was sentenced in 2011 by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service in youth-related activities and a $4,000 fine. He already has served the home confinement.

Illston declared a mistrial on the three other counts, and the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco dismissed those charges in August 2011. The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment on the decision.

“I think the 10-1 vote indicates that it was a farce,” said Bonds’ appellate lawyer, Dennis Riordan. “The greatest impact is the damage it undid. We had a panel opinion that said if you’re asked a question on page 78 and you digress before you answer it directly on page 81, you’re a federal felon.”

In 2009 and ’10, the 9th Circuit ruled federal agents illegally seized urine samples and testing records of major league players, with Kozinski saying it “was an obvious case of deliberate overreaching by the government.” The 9th Circuit three-judge panel ruled in 2010 the government could not present positive urine samples at Bonds’ trial because Anderson refused to testify and there was no witness to authenticate the evidence.


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