Friday, November 16, 2007

Very few things could have knocked A-Rod's new $275 million contract with the Yankees off the top of the sports page, but one of them was Barry Bonds indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice.

To the surprise of virtually no one, a federal grand jury decided that Bonds was lying when he said in 2003 that he had never knowingly used performance enhancers. Exactly why it took four years for them to come to this conclusion is beyond me, but I'm guessing that the government wanted to be very sure they would get a conviction if they brought Bonds to trial.

I'm not going to go into the whys and wherefores of the indictment here - there are plenty of places on the Web that will do that for you (Google News lists 2,168 articles). My only comment at this point is this: it made me vaguely nauseous every time I saw the words "home run king" in front of Bonds name.

A couple of quick comments on the Rodriguez contract. It is amazing to me how badly A-Rod and his agent Lord Voldemort, er, Scott Boras, misread the market. After they voided the original deal, along with the Yankees $21 million subsidy from the Rangers, my guess is that they couldn't find anyone else willing to get even close to Boras's outrageous contract demand (10 years, $350 million). I'm thinking that the best the could get on the market from teams like the Mets, Dodgers, Angels and maybe Red Sox was 7 years and somewhere between $180 and $200 million.

So, A-Rod went crawling back to the Bronx with his tail between his legs and the Steinbrenners capitulated, giving him what was still a record contract, but a lot less than the original asking price.

It's going to be really interesting to see how the Yankee fans react to this debacle, plus another miserable post-season performance.


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