Seven-time MVP Barry Bonds is guaranteed at least a few months of freedom now that his perjury trial has been delayed until late summer at the earliest, and he wants to spend it on the diamond. According to multiple media sources, the 44-year-old has told his agent, Jeff Borris, to shop his services around to all 30 big league clubs.
Borris, who tried in vain to secure a deal for Bonds last season, has conceded that he isn’t optimistic about the former Giants star’s chances of landing a job. “Unless they have a change of heart or see an error in their ways, I seriously doubt that clubs will give him the opportunity to play this year,” he said.
Bonds’ trial was set to begin Monday in San Francisco, but has been delayed indefinitely because federal prosecutors have decided to appeal the judge’s ruling to exclude evidence because Bonds’ former trainer and confidant, Greg Anderson, has refused to testify and he is the only person who can corroborate it.
Bonds is quite old for a ballplayer and hasn’t played since 2007, but it’s likely he’d still wield one of the more potent bats in the bigs if he were to come back. The eight-time Gold Glover showed a complete lack of mobility in left field in his last year with the Giants, however, and would likely be limited to DH duties with an American League club.
The big question is whether there’s a team out there willing to take on such a monumental distraction in exchange for some offensive production, since in addition to the performance-enhancing drug issues, Bonds has a reputation as a polarizing figure and all-around bad guy. It’s hard to fathom that any of the A.L. contenders would want to upset team chemistry to the extent that adding Bonds would, so his best chance might be to hook on with a bad Junior Circuit team in need of a draw at the gate.
The A’s already have Jason Giambi in what would likely be Bonds’ role, and the Tigers have Gary Sheffield. The Mariners have Ken Griffey Jr. to put fans in the seats at Safeco. Imagine - Barry Bonds, proud to a fault, groveling for an opportunity to play for the veterans’ minimum for the lowly Kansas City Royals.
Jay LeBlanc is an assistant news editor at The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.