Tip shot

- Guilty, but not GUILTY

It wasn't the verdict many would have liked to have seen, but they got it nonetheless.

Baseball's home run king Barry Bonds was convicted Wednesday of obstruction of justice while a mistrial was declared on the three remaining charges that the former San Francisco Giants' and Pittsburgh Pirates' slugger made false statements in a 2003 investigation of his possible steroid use.

Bonds last played in 2007 when as a Giant he surpassed Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs that stood for over 30 years before finishing with a grand total of 762. Bonds hit 176 of the home runs while playing from 1986 to 1992 with the Pirates before signing with San Francisco as a free agent.

“There's nothing to celebrate,” the now 46-year-old 14-time All-Star told reporters after leaving the courthouse in San Francisco.

The jurors reportedly voted 11-1 to convict Bonds on the obstruction charge and the majority of the panel voted to acquit on the remaining charges.

Bonds is just one player on a laundry list of those from the last two decades that have questions upon questions hanging over their heads about steroid use in baseball. Major League Baseball has since instituted programs to curb use of the substances and punish those who do.

A sentencing date for Bonds has not been set. He could face anywhere from months to 10 years in prison.

The numbers

8 - The weeks Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers could miss after fracturing a bone in his arm Tuesday while sliding into home plate.

Hamilton, who is in his fourth season with the defending American League champion Rangers and famously returned to baseball in 2007 after struggling much of his adult life with drug addictions, had a .333 batting average and seven runs batted in in 11 games this season.

The injury came on a play where Rangers' third-base coach Dave Anderson ordered Hamilton to run on a foul ball. Hamilton called Anderson's instruction “stupid,” but later apologized.

"I let my emotions get ahead of thinking things through," Hamilton said. "The more I think about it, the more I understand that I take responsibility for what happened because I had the choice not to go or the choice to go. I just appreciate Dave having confidence in my ability to think I could make that play."

32 - The saves Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had in Wednesday night's 3-0 playoff win over Tampa Bay in the opening game of the series at Consol Energy Center.

"I just tried to do my thing, and the players up front got some big goals for us and it worked out all right,” Fleury said.

Alexei Kovalev scored for 45th time in the playoffs 6:05 into the third period and Arron Asham added another seconds later to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. Chris Kunitz scored on an empty-netter late in the period. Friday night's second game of the series finished too late to be included in today's Allied News.

474 - The home runs hit by Carlos Delgado is his 17-year MLB career, the most among ever by a Puerto Rico-born player.

Delgado, 38, officially retired from baseball this week. His last MLB game came in 2009 when the first baseman played for the New York Mets.

"I always said I would try to return until my body had enough. And my body could take no more," Delgado said during a press conference in San Juan. "I've been training two years and recently tried yet again to increase the routine of work, but the swing was not there to compete at the level I want."

"There comes a moment when you have to have the dignity and the sense to recognize that something is not functioning," he said. "You can't swim against the current."

In addition to the Mets, Delgado also played one season with Florida and 13 with Toronto, where he was on the roster as a rookie for the 1993 World Series champion Blue Jays.

By Patrick Connelly, Allied News sports editor. Images by The Associated Press and MLB. Follow the sports department of The Allied News on Twitter at twitter.com/AlliedSports.

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