Barry Bonds spent all week trolling the winter meetings trying to convince the Giants that other teams were interested in him. And it worked.
But did the Giants really believe they might lose Bonds, or did they simply run out of better options? Probably the latter.
One baseball man who spoke with the Giants’ brass said the Giants considered Bonds’ arrival to be nothing more than particularly inspired “gamesmanship.” The source said the Giants had seen no evidence that Bonds had any serious interest elsewhere — and quoted a Giants official as saying, “There may be a phantom team out there somewhere — but we can’t find it.”
I know that a few days ago, the rumor mill hummed weakly about Bonds possibly finding work with another team. But I just never saw it happening. Neither did the Giants, which is probably how they convinced Bonds to come down off of his demand for $20 million a year for two years. Personally, I think it would’ve been great if Bonds were left without a team, and was forced to retire before he could soil any more records with his ill-gotten biceps.
As an aside, an ESPN.com article, written just before Bonds’ signing, also included this mysterious closing graf:
There also have been indications that the Giants have other, non-monetary issues they want to resolve with Bonds. But “right now,” said one baseball man familiar with the discussions, “the divide is about compensation [i.e., money]. The reason this deal isn’t done yet is not because of anything else. It’s because of money.”
First, non-monetary issues?? How tactful. Does that mean legal issues, subpoena issues, perjury issues? Does it mean issues of the cream and issues of the clear? Just curious.
And second, how hilarious is it that ESPN doesn’t expect readers of its website to know that “compensation” means the same thing as “money.” We would never patronize our readers that way here at UmpBump. Yeesh.