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Judge nixes feds' tape; Bonds' side ready to go

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge ruled jurors in the Barry Bonds trial may not hear a rediscovered recording of two key witnesses — ridiculed by the defense as a "miracle tape" — as prosecutors rested their case against the home-run king Tuesday after 2½ weeks and 25 witnesses.

The defense said it planned to call up to six witnesses, including possibly Bonds himself, in a presentation that lawyers projected will start and end today. If that schedule holds up, closing arguments would take place Thursday morning and the case could go to the jury of eight women and four men later in the day.

Bonds, the season and career home run leader, is accused of four counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice for telling a grand jury in 2003 that he didn't knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs. Prosecutors ended their presentation with a 1 hour, 35 minute reading of portions of Bonds' grand jury testimony.

Bonds alternately watched for the jurors' reaction and followed in a three-ring binder as his testimony was read.

Jurors and Bonds' mother laughed when Bonds' 7½-year-old answer to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow was read back in which the star said: "Yes. You are confusing. I'm telling you," before addressing the grand jurors directly and telling them: "Is he confusing to you guys? I'm glad it's not just me."

After the prosecution rested, Bonds' lawyers filed four motions with the court, the most significant of which asked U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to acquit Bonds now. They also filed motions to strike testimony by four players on how they received drugs from former Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, testimony on the side effects of steroids and HGH and part of the taped conversation between former Bonds business partner Steve Hoskins and Anderson.

Illston said she was inclined to strike part of the Hoskins-Anderson conversation that was played for the jury and testimony from Bonds' former girlfriend Kimberly Bell about his shrunken testicles, which the government says is a side effect from steroids use. She also wondered aloud whether the government had provided any evidence to back its count charging Bonds with lying when he said he received only vitamins from Anderson before the 2003 season.

CRAWFORD BUMPED UP: A day after dropping former Rays LF Carl Crawford from third to seventh in the batting order, Red Sox manager Terry Francona moved him back up to second against the Indians. Francona had said he moved Crawford down because he was pressing.

ANGELS: Manager Mike Scioscia said rookie RHP Jordan Walden will take over as closer from struggling RHP Fernando Rodney. … LH reliever Scott Downs, out since mid March with a broken toe, threw a 15-pitch simulated game and hopes to begin a minor-league rehab assignment soon.

BLUE JAYS: RF Jose Bautista left the team to deal with a "personal family matter" and is expected to miss the three-game series against the A's.

CARDINALS: LF Matt Holliday played catch and ran a few sprints four days after having an appendectomy and said he expects to travel with the team on a 10-game West Coast trip that starts Friday.

CUBS: RHP Andrew Cashner was pulled in the sixth inning of his major-league debut with tightness in his right shoulder.

GIANTS: Closer Brian Wilson, out since March 23 with a strained left oblique, is expected to be activated today.

MARLINS: RF Mike Stanton has a slight left hamstring strain and will likely remain out of the lineup until at least Friday, but he will not go on the disabled list.

PHILLIES: 2B Chase Utley is making progress from a right knee injury and could start jogging "in the next couple of days," general manager Ruben Amaro said. Utley is likely to begin a rehab assignment when he can run at full speed without pain.

Judge nixes feds' tape; Bonds' side ready to go 04/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 9:47pm]

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