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Down The Line

May 03, 2009|Bill Shaikin

Armada sails on without Bonds

Barry Bonds dropped by his old stamping grounds in San Francisco last week, enjoying the Dodgers and Giants from a front-row seat.

"I just haven't retired," Bonds told reporters.

He also hasn't played in 20 months. The "Home Run Counter" on his website remains on hold at 762, and his perjury trial remains on hold while prosecutors appeal a pretrial ruling.

So he could play this season, if he could find a job. Jeff Borris, his agent, said he pitched Bonds to all 30 major league clubs, with no offers.

If Bonds really wants to play, he ought to join Jose Lima on the Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden League. Bonds could commute from his Beverly Hills home.

And, by June or July, when major league teams search for that one big bat, how much pressure might Bonds put on those teams if he were to hit a ton of home runs in the independent league?

"It really gives organizations and scouts a good look at the player," Golden League Commissioner Kevin Outcalt said. "It showcases that they're ready to go."

This is not to say that teams would line up to sign Bonds even if hit a home run every night in Long Beach, given that the federal government alleges he lied when he denied knowingly using steroids. This is to say that Bonds could rob teams of the excuse that he has not played in almost two years.

Outcalt said his league would love to have Bonds in Long Beach. No way, said Bonds' agent.

"He's not going to do that," Borris said. "He should not have to do that."


Mannywood by the Bay?

Even Bonds knows the Giants blew it by not signing the best available power-hitting left fielder last winter. Not himself. He meant Manny Ramirez.

"I wish we got him over here in the Giants organization," Bonds said on the team's radio broadcast, "because these people would be going crazy."

Ramirez more than squashed suspicion he might struggle to hit in cold and windy AT&T Park, reaching base nine times in 14 appearances during the Dodgers' three games there.


George Orwell would love this

The New York Yankees slashed the cost of their largely empty front-row seats, using the words "price adjustment" in their announcement.

That left New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky to point out the obvious.

"Only the Yankees would think a $1,200 ticket is affordable and a $2,500 ticket isn't," Brodsky said.

The Yankees, in accordance with Major League Baseball, priced All-Star game tickets from $150 to $725 last year. The St. Louis Cardinals and MLB priced All-Star tickets from $100 to $360 this year, and the price range for next year's game in Anaheim is expected to be more St. Louis than New York.


Insider trading: We bet he stays

The website bills itself as "the world's leading online sports book" and pledges to "deliver the most up-to-date odds and analysis." In a news release last Wednesday, the site trumpeted its expert odds on which manager would be the first to be fired this season.

At 2-1: Manny Acta of the Washington Nationals. No expertise needed there; the Nationals are the worst team in the majors, and the general manager who hired Acta is gone.

Then, at 4-1: Cecil Cooper of the Houston Astros -- 11 days after he was awarded a contract extension. Up to date, indeed.

-- Bill Shaikin

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