Oh, Barry Me Not, Part 2

The Home Run King, Barry Bonds, has been indicted for perjury (four counts)and obstruction of justice (one count) for allegedly lying under oath about knowingly using steroids. The charges could lead to up to thirty years in prison if Bonds is convicted on all counts.

Now, anyone who follows baseball has known for a long time that it was almost certain that Bonds had been using some kind of illegal substances for quite some time. If you're surprised, you haven't been paying attention. And of course, he's not the only one whose statistics raised suspicions that things were not on the up and up.

The parallels with The Hit King, Pete Rose, are strong, but in the case of Rose, it was something that he did after his playing career ended that has led to him being kept out of the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Correction: That is not strictly true. Rose was a player/manager at the time he bet on baseball, so it happened during his playing career.) What Bonds is alleged to have done actually affected what happened on the field. And just as the Feds got Rose for tax evasion rather than gambling, so they're going after Bonds for lying under oath rather than his actions.

Maybe the Hall of Fame needs to open up a special Wing of Infamy for Rose (and Bonds, if he is convicted). Their accomplishments on the field should not be ignored, even if in the case of Bonds they were somewhat tainted, but they need to be placed in their proper context: Men whose conduct brought shame upon themselves. And anyone else with Hall-worthy stats who is found to have used steroids should go in the same Wing of Infamy.

Update: One further thought: How difficult will it be for the federal government to get a conviction from a San Francisco jury? Sure, the Feds may have a good case, but if he gets a sympathetic jury, they may let him off anyway, as happened with O.J. Simpson in his murder trial, evidence or not.