Patton: Fall from grace nearly complete for Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds made headlines again when he was sentenced last week, but we are close to a time when he disappears from view altogether.

Bonds has appealed his conviction on obstruction charges, related to a federal investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

But if and when that conviction is upheld (probably more than a year from now), it will likely pass without much fanfare. His sentence -- 30 days of house arrest, two years probation, a $4,000 fine and 250 hours of community service -- isn't harsh and has no camera appeal.

The spotlight reappears one year from now when he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame. It will be a formality when the voting baseball writers -- including me -- overwhelmingly reject him for his front-and-center role in the sport's crippling steroids scandals.

Bonds remains the official record holder for home runs in a season (73) and career (762), and never lost a dime of salary for his admitted use of notorious PED lotions, "the cream" and "the clear," insisting he never knew what was in them, stretching the incredulity meter to the max.

The only tangible way for him to be held accountable, in the baseball universe, is to make sure he doesn't get a spot in Cooperstown.

After that, his name will pop up again when, presumably, Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols approaches his 762 number. Don't look for public appearances. He carved out a non-public lifestyle even when he was, pre-scandal, the most celebrated player in the game.

Nothing that has happened since then figures to bring him out of his private place.

(Contact Gregg Patton at gpatton(at)pe.com. For more stories visit scrippsnews.com.)

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