Joseph Russoniello, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, feels very strongly about Barry Bonds and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Why? Because Stan Musial, the Perfect Knight, turned him into a smoker, that's why.

Via The New York Times comes this fascinating tidbit:

Russoniello said that since he took over as United States attorney, in 2007, he has developed a greater appreciation for the Balco investigation and how the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes can influence teenagers.

"Stan Musial was my hero when I was a kid, and he smoked cigarettes," Russoniello said. "I smoked cigarettes. Did I smoke cigarettes because of him? Well, there was not anything that he did to deter me from smoking cigarettes."

So there you are, folks: the intellectual underpinnings of the government's pursuit of Barry Bonds. Stan Musial and his Chesterfields didn't do anything to deter little Joey Russoniello from smoking. Sheesh. Between this guy and failed athlete Jeff Novitzky, our war on steroids is beginning to feel more and more like a very long, very expensive therapy session.

Legal Experts Don't See Conflict in Bonds Lawyer's Advisory Roles [New York Times]