Barry Bonds finally sat across a San Francisco court room from the 12 people who will judge whether or not the greatest home-run hitter of all time lied about taking drugs.
Following a daylong selection process, eight women and four men were picked yesterday to hear the federal government’s case against the 46-year-old former San Francisco Giants star, who is charged with four counts of lying to a grand jury and one count of obstruction for testifying in 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
Among the jurors there was no shortage of opinion on baseball’s steroids era or drugs in sports, though all indicated they could rule impartially in the case of Bonds, who holds the records for home runs in a career (762) and a season (73).
Juror No. 69 was angered Congress investigated steroids in sports “on my dime.’’
“They should be solving things like the national debt,’’ he said.
Jurors were identified by number rather than name, and US District Judge Susan Illston said their identities won’t be revealed until the day after the verdict.
Several jurors said they could keep an open mind even though they had heard much about the case.
But Juror No. 74 said her experience working as a flight attendant years ago would make it tough for her to be fair.
“I’m still getting over my baseball charters,’’ she said.
Mets set Perez free The Mets released pitcher Oliver Perez, two days after the lefthander allowed consecutive home runs to minor leaguers. The Mets chose to absorb the $12 million remaining on Perez’s $36 million, three-year contract rather than keep a pitcher who has been ineffective. His release came three days after the team cut three-time All-Star second baseman Luis Castillo, who was signed by the rival Phillies . . . Managers Tony La Russa and Jim Riggleman had to be separated when both benches cleared during a testy spring training game between the Cardinals and Nationals.