Barry Bonds told a judge yesterday he wants two top-notch Bay Area defense lawyers to lead his legal team, even though they previously represented potential witnesses against the slugger.
Bonds, who is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury about his steroid use, appeared briefly in US District Court in San Francisco after prosecutors raised conflict-of-interest concerns about defense attorneys Allen Ruby and Cris Arguedas.
Speaking softly in response to a series of questions by Judge Susan Illston, baseball's home run king said he wanted the two lawyers to represent him, even though lead attorney Ruby earlier represented Bonds's personal surgeon Arthur Ting, and Arguedas represented former track star Tim Montgomery.
Illston did not immediately rule on the request and asked Bonds to file a written declaration by Jan. 4.
Bonds declined to comment as he left court.
Prosecutors said they probably will call Ting as a witness at trial and that they're concerned Ruby won't conduct a rigorous cross-examination of the doctor.
Ting accompanied Bonds to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative to draw the slugger's blood, which was privately tested for steroids. According the indictment charging Bonds with perjury and obstruction, two of those tests came back positive.
"I think it needs to be made clear that there is no suggestion by anyone of any wrongdoing," Ruby said of Ting.
Arguedas represented disgraced track star Montgomery and three former NFL players who testified about their steroid use to a grand jury investigating the BALCO steroids ring.
By waiving conflict-of-interest issues, Bonds is precluded from appealing any conviction because of the lawyer's previous representation.
Another shoe drops
A second affidavit signed by IRS special agent Jeff Novitzky
, involving former Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski,
was unsealed late Thursday. The only players named by Radomski that weren't mentioned in the report by George Mitchell
were former Mets All-Star pitcher Sid Fernandez
, Pete Rose Jr
., and minor leaguers Ryan Schurman
and Rick Holyfield
. According to that affidavit, Radomski received a $3,500 check from Fernandez that was written Feb. 14, 2005, eight years after Fernandez's final major league appearance. Rose, the son of baseball's career hits leader, was sentenced in May 2006 to one month in prison and five months of home detention for distributing a steroid alternative to his minor league teammates . . . In the wake of the release of Novitzky's affidavit involving Jason Grimsley
, former pitcher Allen Watson
, who was among nine players accused of doping by the former pitcher, denied using steroids. "I at no time over my professional baseball career used steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs. Not then, not now, not ever," Watson said in a statement released by his agent, Tony Giordano
Rockies land Vizcaino
The Rockies filled a vacancy in their bullpen by agreeing to a $7.5 million, two-year contract with righthander Luis Vizcaino
. Vizcaino was 8-2 with a 4.30 ERA with the Yankees last season, making a career-high 77 relief appearances and struggling for much of the first half . . . The Reds traded outfielder Josh Hamilton
to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez
and a minor league pitcher. Hamilton, 26, batted .292 in 2007 in his first major league season with 19 homers and 47 RBIs . . . Slugger Alexei Ramirez,
who helped lead Cuba to a gold medal at the Athens Olympics,
has agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox.
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