Bonds sentencing brings BALCO saga near a close 

click to enlarge In this June 23, 2011, file photo, former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds leaves the federal courthouse in San Francisco after a hearing in his trial. In court documents filed late Thursday, Dec. 8, prosecutors objected to a recommendation by a federal probation officer that Bonds get only probation when he's sentenced for obstruction of justice on Dec. 16. Federal prosecutors are urging a judge to send former baseball slugger Bonds to prison for 15 months. - AP PHOTO/PAUL SAKUMA, FILE
  • AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File
  • In this June 23, 2011, file photo, former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds leaves the federal courthouse in San Francisco after a hearing in his trial. In court documents filed late Thursday, Dec. 8, prosecutors objected to a recommendation by a federal probation officer that Bonds get only probation when he's sentenced for obstruction of justice on Dec. 16. Federal prosecutors are urging a judge to send former baseball slugger Bonds to prison for 15 months.

Barring an appeal, the sentencing of Barry Bonds will bring the federal government's nearly decade-long investigation of a Northern California-based steroids ring to an anti-climactic end.

The home-run record holder is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in San Francisco. Federal guidelines suggest a prison sentence of between 15 months and 21 months, and prosecutors want Bonds to serve time.

Federal probation officers are recommending probation and some period of house arrest, but no time behind bars. Bonds' lawyers say they agree with the probation department and are seeking no prison time.

Legal analysts predict U.S. District Judge Susan Illston will follow the probation office's recommendation because she handed out similar sentences to two others convicted of similar crimes.

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