Only in San Francisco could a court case turn on the size of the bulge in a dude's pants.
But Barry Bonds' attorneys, in a motion filed yesterday, asked that Bonds' allegedly shrinking package not be admitted as evidence in his steroids trial. Prosecutors had planned to question Barry's former mistress Kim Bell about "below the belt" matters on some, ummm, very personal physical manifestations of Bonds' alleged steroid use.
The feds' star witness here is actually Dr. Larry Bowers -- who has never been Barry's mistress, as far as we know -- but serves as the Senior Managing Director of the United States Anti-Doping Agency. (Want to see his resume? It's online!) Dr. Bowers testified back in the early years of these Barry prosecution proceedings that steroid use leads to "such symptoms as increased muscle mass, shrunken testicles, acne on the upper back, moodiness, and an erratic sexual drive."
Prosecutors planned to build on this by having Bonds' former girlfriend-on-the-side testify that she had seen firsthand all of this back acne, ho-hum sex drive, and shrinking scrotum. Ms. Bell would also testify that she and Barry had discussed these matters, providing the thrust for nailing Bonds on the perjury charge. Barry has said repeatedly under oath that he never knew he was taking steroids.
But Bonds' attorneys argued that Ms. Bell's testimony on this topic would constitute "misleading and prejudicial testimony". They argue only way to accurately assess testicle shrinkage is with an instrument called an orchidometer, ana device which looks like it actually might feel kind of nice.
The Battle of Barry's Bulge is just one small (tee hee!) part of the prosecution's testimony utilizing Ms. Bell. She will also be questioned on the threatening voice mails and Barry taking a swing at her, to help make the "moodiness" and "roid rage" components of their argument.
Judge Illston is expected to rule on the admissability of this eveidence in the days to come.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer with a sudden interest in acquiring an orchidometer.