Bonds Indicted, A-Rod Signs, Film at 11
That was a crazy couple of hours for our national pastime, eh? Barry Bonds was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges and Alex Rodriguez is apparently a True Yankee, after all. Who knew?
Meanwhile, that team south of here—that hasn’t won a World Series since Bill Clinton was in office—also reportedly offered Red Sox playoff hero Mike Lowell $55 million. To play first base. Wait, what?
We’ll get to the first two items in a second, but if the Yankees want to pay $55 million (say it again, real slow) to a soon-to-be 34-year-old, and have him move from his Gold Glove-caliber position of choice across the diamond to a spot he has never played before, well, knock yourselves out boys.
OK, the Bonds indictment is the really big news from baseball yesterday. Some see this as the end of a long road, but it is really just the second act of a three-act drama that will dominate the rest of the winter.
The first act featured names you never would have suspected—Paul Byrd, Scott Schoenweis, Mike Cameron—outed as HGH users. The final, and potentially the most devastating act, will come when George Mitchell’s report is released. So if you’re already sick of steroid talk, tough. It’s not even halftime yet.
The Bonds indictment has hung over baseball for more than a year, and it’s timing has perplexed court watchers, who are wondering why this didn’t happen sooner, since there is nothing new in the charges. This could get very, very ugly. Bonds’ playing career is almost certainly over, and if he wanted to, he could blow the sport up during his trial.
While awaiting trial, the baseball world will endlessly debate affixing an asterisk to Bonds’ records. You know how we feel about asterisks. There is no way baseball should be allowed to get itself off the hook by disavowing Bonds’ career when they allowed this to happen. The man hit his home runs in a Major League uniform, against Major League pitching, and baseball will just have to live with it.
Since l’affair de Bonds is too depressing to end with on a Friday, let’s conclude with happier thoughts, namely the reconciliation of A-Rod and the Yankees. Let’s do it through the words of Hank Steinbrenner, George’s obviously eager, and chatty, son.
Oct. 29 (NY Daily News):
“It’s clear he didn’t want to be a Yankee,” Hank Steinbrenner told the Daily News last night. “He doesn’t understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field.
“I don’t want anybody on my team that doesn’t want to be a Yankee.”
Nov. 14 (Newsday):
“The reason we didn’t entertain [negotiations] in the first place is because of the opt-out and the loss of the Rangers money and so forth,” Hank Steinbrenner said. “But at this point it appears he’s willing to make sacrifices to be a Yankee. Basically that’s it in a nutshell.”