ANAHEIM — Major League Baseball is in the process of determining how to conduct a review of material regarding Barry Bonds’ alleged steroid use during a five-year period beginning in 1998, an MLB official said on Thursday.
Whether that review will be done internally or farmed out for an external investigation is a matter still under consideration by Commissioner Bud Selig.
Selig, in attendance at Thursday night’s World Baseball Classic second-round finale between the U.S. and Mexico at Angel Stadium, said that he was still mulling the matter over.
“There’s absolutely nothing new,” said Selig, who last week told the media that he wouldn’t comment about the issue until after he reviewed the relevant material. “I did a lot of thinking about it on the plane coming out here today. I can’t respond to [rumors] about what I’m doing when I haven’t made a decision yet. “I’ll make the decision based on all the factors that are involved, go from there and make decisions on what I think is in the best interest of everybody involved.”
The Commissioner’s office has yet to procure the two new books that purport to document Bonds’ use of performance-enhancing drugs, nor has it been determined whether Selig will call in Bonds for an interview. Considering the timing of the revelations, Bonds probably will not be encumbered when he begins the regular season with the Giants on April 3 in pursuit of the all-time home run record.
Bonds has 708 homers, six behind Babe Ruth’s 714 and 47 in arrears of Hank Aaron’s all-time MLB-leading 755.
The latest information regarding the San Francisco Giants slugger and seven-time National League Most Valuable Player is detailed in a new biography by Jeff Pearlman about Bonds entitled, “Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero.”
Those excerpts were published on ESPN.com about a week after another book was excerpted in Sports Illustrated.
That first book, entitled “Game of Shadows” and written by a pair of San Francisco Chronicle reporters who covered the federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO), alleges Bonds used an array of steroid-based drugs from 1998 to 2002, including the 2001 season, when Bonds hit 73 homers to break Mark McGwire’s three-year-old record.
Selig said the fact that a second book is about to come out will not influence his decision-making process.
“Look, a lot of people write books and do a lot of things to sell their books,” Selig said. “That doesn’t really come into play here at all.”
Bonds, at 41, is recovering from having surgery on his right knee three times last year. He didn’t begin playing in games until last week, but thus far he’s tearing up the Cactus League. In his first four games, Bonds is batting .778 (7-for-9) with three homers and six RBIs.