SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' childhood friend and estranged business partner was scheduled to endure more cross examination Thursday after testifying he suspected the slugger was taking steroids as early as 1999.
Steve Hoskins spent almost the entire court session Wednesday at Bonds' perjury trial on the witness stand. He testified that he became increasingly worried that Bonds was endangering his health by injecting steroids.
The two grew up together, and Hoskins worked for Bonds from 1993 until a bitter business divorce in late March 2003.
Hoskins denied accusations that he planned to extort Bonds in the aftermath of that split by secretly recording conversations about steroids with the slugger's personal trainer and doctor. Hoskins says he made the recordings to convince Bonds' father, Bobby Bonds, that his son was juicing.
But he conceded Wednesday that he was incorrect in insisting his secretly recorded conversation with trainer Greg Anderson occurred in late March 2003. Under cross examination from Bonds' attorney' Allen Ruby, Hoskins conceded the recording was made later. Ruby suggested that was an important inconsistency, because that means the recording was made after Bonds had Hoskins sign a document on March 27, 2003, effectively ending what was a lucrative business arrangement for Hoskins.
Nonetheless, Hoskins denied he had any malicious intentions and said he harbored no ill will toward Bonds at the time of the recording or now.
"I would want to help Barry then and would want to help Barry now," Hoskins said.
Bonds, baseball's all-time home runs leader, is being tried in federal court on four counts of lying to a grand jury and one of obstruction for telling a grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.
Earlier Wednesday, Hoskins told the jury that he saw Anderson leave Bonds' bedroom at spring training with a syringe in 2000.
Hoskins said that when he saw Bonds and his personal trainer coming out of the master bedroom he assumed Anderson had injected the star player with steroids. He testified that he saw the two disappear into that room "once or twice" at each spring training over three consecutive years beginning in 2000.
He also told the jury of eight women and four men that, a year earlier, Bonds had ordered him to research the benefits and side effects of a steroid after the slugger had undergone elbow surgery.
Longtime Giants clubhouse attendant Mike Murphy is the next scheduled government witness. Murphy is expected to testify that Bonds required bigger hat sizes during his long career with the San Francisco Giants. Dr. Larry Bowers, an anti-doping expert, is expected to testify for the government that head growth is a side effect of steroid use.