The Feds are filling out their roster for their big showdown against Barry Bonds, and have found a catcher. Here's Bobby Estalella, who is expected to testify to firsthand knowledge that Bonds used steroids.
Estalella, a teammate of Bonds' with the Giants in 2000 and 2001, was subpoenaed Thursday and is expected to tell all when Bonds' perjury and obstruction of justice trial begins in March. He's the witness that federal prosecutors have been looking for all along — Greg Anderson has been no help, despite frequent jail visits. Think of Estellela as the Frank Pantangili of this thing; hopefully the Corleones won't get to his brother before the trial. From the SF Chronicle:
Estalella, who was on the San Francisco Giants with Bonds in 2000 and 2001, is expected to testify to firsthand knowledge that Bonds used steroids, ESPN reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the evidence. ESPN attributed knowledge of the subpoenas to two unidentified sources.
The book "Game of Shadows," by two Chronicle reporters, says Estalella received a drug schedule from Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer, advising him to use human growth hormone, the steroids "the cream" and "the clear," and the female fertility drug Clomid.
The Bobby Estalella file:
• Played nine seasons in the majors, 1996-2004, for six teams, Phillies (1996-1999), Giants (2000-2001), Yankees (2001), Rockies (2002-2003), Diamondbacks (2004) and Blue Jays (2004).
• Career .216 hitter with 48 home runs and 147 RBI in 310 games.
• Signed by the Mets to a minor league contract before the 2006 season, but retired before the season began.
• Once hit three homers in one game, for the Phillies on Sept. 4, 1997.
Estalella admitted to using the "cream," the "clear" and human growth hormone provided Anderson, it was learneds through leaked grand jury testimony. Estalella also was named in the Mitchell report in 2007.
This won't be Bobby's show alone, though. Also expected to testify are former Giants Benito Santiago and Armando Rios, and Jason Giambi, who has had, of course, his own steroids adventures, and who accompanied Bonds and Anderson on a promotional trip to Japan.
In other words, as Ray Ratto of the Chronicle said: "One way or another, it's on, kids."
The government isn't fooling around, as evidenced when they raided the house of Anderson's mother-in-law on Wednesday. They want Barry's head on a platter, and they don't care how many Hummel figurines they have to break to obtain it. It all goes to prove, again, that Barry could have avoided all of this if he'd had walked a mile or two in Giambi's cleats, and copped to the whole thing early on. But pride goeth before the fall ... or in this case, goeth before the house arrest.