One reason is the sheer number of weasel words in the piece. He leads with “Sounds like they really have him this time,” and later writes, “Bonds has been able to stay ahead of the posse thus far.” The implication is that Bonds has cheated but has thus far not been caught.
But the piece is characterized by plenty of “out” phrases, such as “seems to” and the aforementioned “sounds like.” To wit: “It's increasingly clear that he was pumping a lot of stuff into his body.” Not “crystal” clear, but “increasingly.” How lawyerly.
Troubling because it deviates from his past statements demanding proof, as he wrote on March 3, 2004: “No one will ever be able to prove anything from the past, of course. It's like asking police to prove your blood alcohol level was over the legal limit when you drove home from your cousin's wedding in July of 1999.”
Troubling because as sure as he is now of the evidence, he failed all previous opportunities to indict Bonds. For instance, Dan’s comments on Oct. 18, 2002, on the eve of the Giants-Angels World Series, feted Bonds while failing to mention steroids:
Why does America hate Barry Bonds so much? Is it because he's too good? Is it because we constantly hear that his teammates can't stand him? Is it the phony, Carl Everett-esque point to the heavens when he crosses the plate after homering? Is it because he sounds so insincere? Are we threatened by the prospect of him passing hardball gods Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron on the all-time homer list? Bonds is the central figure of this World Series. It is difficult to come up with another player who's gotten more attention before the start of the event. We want to know how/if the Angels will pitch to him. We want to see if he can finally perform in the clutch. Despite his (relatively) strong showing in the first two rounds, Bonds will still be remembered as a postseason bust if he fails in this World Series. And so many are rooting against him. It should make for fascinating theater.In the same piece, Dan even nominated Bonds’ father to throw out the first ball.
Dan ignores all that, however. Now, he says, Bonds is a fraud. So, it seems, is fair-weather Dan.
Color blind. “And now we seem to have hard evidence that Barry didn't make himself Popeye solely by pumping iron.” As The Chimp might say, Did Popeye have black arms?
Revision watch: On March 18, 2004, Dan wrote that Bud Selig would not have the ability or legal standing to change baseball’s rules governing (and penalizing) steroids. How wrong that turned out to be.
Also, on Feb. 25, 2005, Dan attacked Tony LaRussa: “He knew about Jose Canseco . . . and he said nothing? … His apparent involvement in the steroid coverup is alarming, given the way he has presented himself to us for all these years.” Then, on March 17, 2005, he let LaRussa off the hook. Nice turnabout.