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Tax 'Bell' tolling for Bonds?

Barry Bonds, fresh off breaking the Babe's home run record and eyeing the all-time total set by Hammerin' Hank, was nowhere to be seen at last week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Maybe he really was hurt. Maybe MLB asked that he lay low to keep steroid talk off the agenda.

Or maybe he was trying to find his income tax documentation.

Yep, as I mentioned here a couple of months ago, it looks like Barry is going to be the next celebrity to be taken down not for flashy crimes, but because he stiffed the tax collector.

The Associated Press is reporting today that in addition to possible perjury charges, a federal grand jury is looking at whether the slugger funneled tens of thousands of dollars in cash from autographed memorabilia sales to his then-girlfriend, Kimberly Bell.

Bell, no relation that I know, then allegedly used $80,000 of that money as a down payment on a Scottsdale, Ariz. house. Seems that investigators think Barry didn't report all that income he shared with his former gal pal to the Internal Revenue Service.

If the grand jury believes there is sufficient evidence of tax evasion, Barry could get the bad news as soon as tomorrow. That's when the panel is expected to end its term.

I haven't seen the fed's case, but I am not surprised by the allegations. The greed of the wealthy, and Mr. Bonds by all accounts is very, very wealthy, never ceases to amaze me.

He's getting bazillions and still feels the need to pad it with signed baseballs, $100 a pop. OK, everyone likes to supplement their income. I'll give him that. But if you do take that side job for added pocket money, just report it and pay the proper taxes!

You'd think Barry would have learned from his baseball brethren who ran into legal problems for not properly reporting income to Uncle Sam: Pete Rose, Darryl Strawberry, Duke Snider and Willie McCovey.

Mccovey_cove_2_1 Yeah, the same McCovey who is the namesake of the Cove where many of Barry's home park homers have landed. Ain't life funny sometimes?

I swear, if I had a tiny fraction of what these folks make, I could find a way to follow the financial and tax rules and still live quite comfortably. I'd sure like to at least give it try!

Photo of AT&T Park and McCovey Cove courtesy of ClubPhoto


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