SAN FRANCISCO Barry Bonds told a judge Friday that he wants two top-notch Bay Area defense lawyers to lead his legal team even though they previously represented potential witnesses against the slugger.
Bonds, who is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury about his steroid use, appeared briefly in federal court after prosecutors raised conflict-of-interest concerns about defense attorneys Allen Ruby and Cris Arguedas.
Bonds, dressed in a baggy, light blue suit, stood erect in front of the judge with his hands on the podium.
Speaking softly in response to a series of questions by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, baseball's home run king said he wanted the two lawyers to represent him, even though lead attorney Ruby had earlier represented Bonds' personal surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting and Arguedas represented former track star Tim Montgomery.
"The concern is that their prior representation may impact their representation of you," Illston said.
Illston did not immediately rule on whether to disqualify Ruby and Arguedas and asked Bonds to file a written declaration by Jan. 4.
SELIG SUPPORT STRONG: Bud Selig could be baseball commissioner for life if he wanted. His backing among owners is as strong as ever after the Mitchell Report, which accused owners and players of ignoring performance-enhancing drugs. "I'm not sure exactly what you'd say was Bud's crime. I mean, what was he supposed to do?" former commissioner Fay Vincent said. "He has no magic wand. He has got to work with owners. He has to work with the union."
Two things matter most in professional sports: winning and profits. Selig has delivered both.
More clubs have a chance to win the World Series because of the revenue-sharing rules negotiated during his 15-year tenure. And the league set attendance records in 2007, topping $6 billion in revenue for the first time.
"He has total support of the ownership, total support," Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said.
HAMILTON DEALT TO RANGERS: The Cincinnati Reds traded Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers on Friday for pitchers Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera, using their surplus of outfielders to shore up a weakness. The 26-year-old Hamilton was one of baseball's best comeback stories last season, when he finally made it to the majors after years of alcohol and drug abuse nearly ended his career. He batted .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats.
ROCKIES, VIZCAINO AGREE: The NL champion Colorado Rockies filled a vacancy in their bullpen Friday by agreeing to a $7.5 million, two-year contract with right-hander Luis Vizcaino. Vizcaino could fill the middle-inning void left by the departure of reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who reached a preliminary agreement with the New York Yankees in early December.
KEOUGH ARRESTED: Former All-Star pitcher Matt Keough remained jailed Friday, four days after he was arrested for violating his parole by binge drinking at a hotel bar.
TAYLOR INVESTIGATION: The attorney for one of the four suspects charged with killing Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor said Friday he is talking with prosecutors about a plea agreement that may include testimony against the others. Michael Hornung, who represents Venjah Hunte, said his client has maintained throughout that he was not aware that anyone had a weapon when they arrived at Taylor's Miami home or that violence would occur, and that he was not inside the home when Taylor was shot Nov. 26. "He has said from the very beginning that he wants to accept responsibility for his limited role," Hornung said. "He is willing to cooperate and to speak truthfully about that."
WILLIAMS INJURY: Carolina right wing Justin Williams will miss at least four months after tearing a knee ligament, general manager Jim Rutherford said Friday. Williams, an All-Star last season who is fifth on the team with 30 points, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first period of Thursday's 5-4 loss at Florida.
STEVENS GETS EXTENSION: The Philadelphia Flyers and John Stevens agreed to a one-year contract extension Friday that will take the second-year coach through the 2008-09 season.
SAMARANCH RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL: Former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch was released from a Madrid, Spain, hospital Friday after spending two days recovering from a dizzy spell. The 87-year-old Spaniard walked from his hospital room to a car before flying home to Barcelona, Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. said.