By Bryan Jeon
- Barry Bonds has finally been indicted by the grand jury after a four-year investigation and will go to court on 5 felony charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The free agent wanted to play another year to reach 3,000 hits (he currently has 2,935) but could see his career come to an end if he is found guilty of the foregoing charges. In question now are his all-time home run record, which stands at 762, seven more than Hank Aaron, and whether or not he should be admitted into the Hall of Fame. His trainer, Greg Anderson, was finally released from prison, after spending almost a year for contempt in refusing to testify against Bonds. Barry Bonds should not have an asterisk next to his home run record; it would ruin the entire game of baseball for what statistics are worth. Also, he should be a lock for the Hall of Fame just like Pete Rose should be. The HOF is about how great of a baseball player you are and Bonds was putting up those numbers before, during and after steroids. Big ups to Anderson for what he had to go through. I only hope my friends would take a bullet for me.
- Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed to an outline of a 10-year, $275 million contract, which would have the likely AL MVP playing at third base until the age of 42. The Yankees lost out on $21.3 million in subsidy from the Texas Rangers when A-Rod opted out of his contract a couple of weeks ago. A revenue sharing, which still needs to be worked out, would take into effect if A-Rod breaks Bonds’ home run record (he currently has 518 home runs). People are talking about the vulnerability now of agent Scott Boras (Kenny Rogers has just fired Boras as his agent so he can re-sign with the Detroit Tigers), but they’re missing the bigger picture. The Yankees are the real losers in signing A-Rod after they lost out on $21.3 million and said they wouldn’t negotiate with him. Seriously, think about it. The Yankees now have to pay $21.3 million more just because this guy wanted to wait a few weeks to make the decision to stay on the same team. If that’s not the ultimate display of greed and selfishness in this world of sports, I don’t know what is.
- Closer Mariano Rivera is holding out on the Yankees’ 3-year, $45 million contract for a fourth year. Rivera, who will turn 38 later this month, has said this week that the Yankees are his “first option,” and if he accepts the current offer, he would be highest-paid reliever in baseball. Rivera’s trying to grab another year like Jorge Posada just did, but Posada’s not 38. Hank Steinbrenner has just announced that the 3-year offer is final, but we’ll see if Mo walks and possibly joins Joe Torre in Los Angeles.
- Mike Lowell is now interested in the Yankees’ offer of a 4-year contract worth $50-55 million to play at first base. The Red Sox have on the table a 3-year deal for about $35-45 million. It is reported that the Yankees are now pulling that interest, as they don’t want to pay big money for a first baseman with Jason Giambi likely to play out the final year of his contract. Giambi made $23.4 million last season. He just won the World Series, and the fact that he is even considering going to his hated division rival doesn’t seem like the brightest idea. Learn from Johnny Damon, my man. For some people, it’s all about the money, though. I have no idea why anyone would leave Boston right now. One has a better shot to win future championships there than in New York. As for the Yankees, I hope they do pull that offer. It would be another wasteful move when they can always spend that kind of money to improve their pitching.
- Last but not least, Yorvit Torrealba will agree to a 3-year, $14.4 million contract with the New York Mets on Thursday. Paul Lo Duca is a free agent and Ramon Castro will backup Torrealba next season. The catcher hit just .255 last season with the NL champion Colorado Rockies and a horrid .212 with two homers and 13 RBI on the road. A surprising offer by the Mets to pay a guy with a .255 average almost $5 million per year. Yeah, they signed him for his defense. Doesn’t that involve being able to throw runners out? Last year, he only caught 13 of 74 base stealers, about as bad as Lo Duca’s 17 of 89. Great move for a player who went from a team who is supposed to be the hottest up-and-coming club in baseball to a solid team that has a chance of winning the World Series out of the National League.