The Day Barry Bonds Truly Hit The Dirt

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Here's further proof that any relationship that begins in a parking lot is destined to end badly.

From Howard Mintz, of the San Jose Mercury News, who is live-blogging the federal false statements trial of fallen baseball star Barry Bonds:

Kimberly Bell is now taking the jury through the origins of her relationship with Barry Bonds, which she testified began in July 1994, when she was introduced to the Giants slugger by Kathy Hoskins (another government witness against Bonds). Bell came to a ballgame with Hoskins, and she recalls Bonds meeting her in the parking lot and him being "flirtatious" and telling her "I want that girl" when he saw her in a car. They hooked up the next day at a barbecue (which he attended with former major leaguer Bobby Bonilla), and maintained a nine-year relationship from there, including staying numerous times a week at his Redwood Shores condo, meeting his family and children and "his divorce lawyer." Bonds' was divorcing from ex-wife Sun at the time he started the relationship with Bell.

Between 1994 and 1998, Bell said the relationship progressed "nicely," they spoke often, and Bonds called her office so often she was told to get a personal phone because he was tying up the work lines. Bell, however, said matters changed in 1998, when she discovered he was marrying his next wife, Elizabeth. From there, Bell testified she would travel with Bonds and spend time with him away from the Bay Area because of the marriage.

After Bell told jurors that she heard Bonds talk about steroid use, Bonds' attorneys spent the balance of the day Monday trashing her. To paraphrase the great Yogi Berra, it sure got ugly early at this Godforsaken steroids-related trial.

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Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is a legal analyst for 60 Minutes and CBS Radio News, and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.

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