Barry Bonds dispatched weight trainer Greg Anderson to Minneapolis in the summer of 2002 to give emergency “help” to slumping Gary Sheffield, a federal judge has told Major League Baseball.
In correspondence sent March 16 to Commissioner Bud Selig, Larry M. Boyle, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge in Boise, Idaho, described a chance meeting with Anderson, who according to court records in the BALCO steroids case provided banned drugs to Bonds, Sheffield and other baseball stars.
Anderson, Bonds’ longtime trainer, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and money-laundering charges in 2004 and recently completed a three-month federal prison term.
In their June 2002 encounter at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the judge said Anderson bragged about his relationship with Bonds — his “best friend and best client.” The trainer said Bonds had sent him to Minneapolis to “help his close friend Gary Sheffield,” who then was with the Atlanta Braves and “struggling” with a batting slump.
The Braves were playing the Minnesota Twins in an interleague series, and Sheffield’s batting average was below .260. In the two games after Anderson’s arrival, Sheffield went 4-for-6 with a double, a home run and two walks. For the season, he batted .307.
“When your best friend and best client asks you to help his friend, you do it,” Judge Boyle quoted Anderson as saying.
That really sums it up. This entire media witch hunt against Gary Sheffield isn’t just about jealousy or bringing his little mustache down. It’s really about how much of the establishment just can’t deal with platonic love between men.