by Ted Cox
Speaking of sports books, Game of Shadows, the text that tore the cover off the BALCO performance-enhancing- drugs scandal, is freshly out in paperback ($15 from Gotham Books) with a new afterward covering the 2006 season. The updated material details Barry Bonds's turbulent campaign last year, as well as the state of the grand jury investigation (still no formal charges filed against him), and the government's leak investigation involving authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Wiliams. Yet without question the smoking gun hidden in the text is the supposed testimony of San Francisco Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy, who "could" have told the grand jury that Bonds's shirt size went from 42 to 52 in his now 15 years with the team, his hat size went from 7 1/8 to 7 1/4 ("even though he had taken to shaving his head"), and most damning of all his shoe size went from 10 1/2 to 13--all indicating abuse of human growth hormone associated with the onset of acromegaly. That's for those unconvinced by the statistical analysis that, among all the top home-run hitters in baseball history, only Bonds and (gulp) Rafael Palmeiro hit more than a third of their career homers after reaching age 35. So talk all you want about lies, damned lies, and statistics, but if the shoe fits, wear it.