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Friday, November 16, 2007
Boras vs. the U.S. government would be ... interesting

By Jim Caple
Page 2

So after four years, countless man-hours and untold millions of dollars, the federal government is charging Barry Bonds with ... lying when he said he never took steroids.

Wow. Good to see our hard-earned tax money at work. Can't wait to see what other stunners the government comes up with next.

Scott Boras
Hey prosecutors, beware of Boras.
What's the government's next move? We'll see. But the feds better hope Bonds doesn't rehire his former agent, Scott Boras. Based on the 10-year contract potentially worth $300 million that he helped Alex Rodriguez get, the plea-bargaining process might be rather interesting:

[SCOTT BORAS sits in a government office across a conference table from three federal prosecutors: NICK HENDERSON, JERRY SULLIVAN and MARK WILLIAMS.]

HENDERSON: All right. Finally. It took four hours, but we're agreed. In exchange for Bonds spilling the beans on BALCO and naming names, we agree to knock down the charges to perjury and will recommend a six-month sentence in a white-collar minimum-security resort. Furthermore, Barry will get a private cell in the corner with a black leather recliner and a plasma TV. He also will get unlimited visits from Greg Anderson, Victor Conte, personal trainer Harvey Shields and Pedro Gomez.

BORAS: I think that's acceptable.

SULLIVAN: Excellent. All we need now is your signature on the deal.

BORAS: Uh ... sorry, can't do that.

HENDERSON: No? What do you mean, no? You just agreed to all this!

BORAS: Yes, but we've now decided to opt out of that plea bargain. We think we can get a better deal from someone else.

SULLIVAN: What are you talking about? Nobody else has jurisdiction here. You have to deal with us.

BORAS: True ... unless ...

HENDERSON: Unless what?

BORAS: Unless Mr. Sullivan over there is worried that you guys will walk out of here without a deal.

HENDERSON: Yeah right. That's not bloody likely. Sully and I have worked on hundreds of cases. And he's never worried about that. Right, Sully?

[SULLIVAN doesn't respond.]

HENDERSON: Sully?

SULLIVAN: I don't know, Nick. He might have a point. I'd hate to leave without a deal and see this thing go to trial and blow up in our faces like the O.J. thing.

HENDERSON: What do you mean, Jerry? We hold all the cards! We just have to be firm with him.

SULLIVAN: Maybe. But Washington made it clear our jobs are on the line if we don't get a conviction.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, Nick. It wouldn't look good after all these years.

HENDERSON: So what do you guys propose? That we cut his sentence to three months?

SULLIVAN: I was thinking more like two months.

WILLIAMS: With credit for time served.

HENDERSON: But he hasn't served any time!

BORAS: What do you call all those seasons with Jeff Kent?

SULLIVAN: How about if he just apologizes for taking steroids?

WILLIAMS: Yeah, how about a sincere apology?

BORAS: I don't know. I don't like the sound of that word, "apology." And I'm not sure what you mean by sincere.

SULLIVAN: Well, what if he just says he's sorry for, I don't know, unspecified actions, and leaves it at that?

BORAS: Hmmmmm ... maybe. But would he still have to cooperate with the investigation?

WILLIAMS: Oh, no.

SULLIVAN: Of course not.

WILLIAMS: He'd be good to go.

BORAS: I'll have to take it back to Barry and run it past him, but I think we have a deal.

WILLIAMS AND SULLIVAN: Excellent. We'll be waiting.

[BORAS and the prosecutors shake hands. As BORAS prepares to leave, they stop him.]

SULLIVAN: Excuse me, Mr. Boras, but there's one last thing.

BORAS: Yes?

WILLIAMS: Could you get us Barry's autograph?

HENDERSON: We're willing to pay.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached here. His Web site is jimcaple.net, with more installments of "24 College Avenue." His new book with Steve Buckley, "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans," is on sale now.