Kevin Van Valkenburg: King Felix's Opening Day David Schoenfield: The pitchers' era Peter Keating: The deal with closers Buster Olney: Jon Lester and building a pitching rotation MLB Home Subscribe to the Mag IT TAKES CLOUT to clear the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel for a photo shoot on a Saturday night, but this is Barry Bonds' town and he feels free to swing away.
The San Francisco landmark was his refuge during his federal trial on doping-related perjury and obstruction of justice charges in 2011. The cycling team photographer wants the opulent backdrop for a formal portrait. Kevin Van Valkenburg: King Felix's Opening Day David Schoenfield: The pitchers' era Peter Keating: The deal with closers Buster Olney: Jon Lester and building a pitching rotation MLB Home Subscribe to the Mag Bonds pulls up to the hotel entrance at the wheel of his Tesla.
His 2011 trial failed to bring real closure to the allegations against him. Since the public drama of his trial concluded, Bonds frequently has been sighted on a bike or at cycling events, lighter and seemingly more at ease.
Prosecutors presented mounds of evidence pointing to PED use, but Bonds wasn't charged with doping. The government is considering whether to take the case to the U. Last year, he moved back from Southern California to San Francisco, spent a week with the Giants in spring training and threw out the first pitch at Game 4 of the NLCS.
Three female passengers in evening wear pop the doors and get out with him. A few people loitering nearby stare, not at the man in the gray suit and open-necked white dress shirt but at the procession of radiantly fit athletes wearing simple black dresses and carrying one long-stemmed rose apiece.
The Team Twenty16 riders, mid teens to mid-30s, banter as photographer Brian Hodes positions them on and around a long divan in front of an enormous spray of lilies and forsythia.
Cranmer's management company, Tam Cycling Inc., has 501(c)(3) status, and the team's entire 2015 budget is projected to be under half a million dollars.
Together, Bonds' contributions and a commitment from Sho-Air International -- a company that ships and transports trade show equipment -- have restored the team to financial stability and elite status, two years after corporate sponsor Exergy backed out and left Cranmer scrambling.
His body was barking back at him after surgeries on his knees and elbow and back and hip -- damage that could very well have been exacerbated by steroid use (a theory he won't address).
He was mindful of the death of his father, Bobby, at age 57 from a brain tumor and lung cancer."I figured if I could take care of my heart, I'd feel better, because some of the men in our family died early," Bonds says over dinner in Santa Rosa in October, the night before he is to ride 61 miles in his friend Levi Leipheimer's Gran Fondo charity event. I wanted to be active, and I wasn't active in the sport that I love.
"For me, exposure is exposure," she says, describing Bonds as a mentor who helped her strategize as she rebuilt the team's finances.