*A trial date of March 21 has been set for slugger Barry Bonds, who faces federal perjury charges stemming from his case involving performance enhancing drugs.

Bonds’ legal team, federal prosecutors and U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston agreed to the date during a brief hearing held earlier today. They also worked out a timeframe to file legal documents and to hold pretrial hearings to shape what the jury will see and hear during the three-week trial.

The former San Francisco Giant has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to a grand jury in December 2003 when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds’ initial February 2009 trial date was delayed at the last minute when prosecutors appealed the judge’s ruling excluding vital evidence. The prosecutors ultimately lost that appeal and have decided to go ahead with the trial anyway.