Thursday, July 17, 2008

Clarification on Barry Bonds' 'Talks' with Yankees

(See update, 7/18)

The Bronx Bomber's report that former Giants outfielder Barry Bonds is in contract negotiations with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman comes from a source within the Yankees organization, though not through conventional channels.

The variously reported denials eminating from the office of Bonds' agent Jeff Borris give us pause, but the world of free agent signings and negotations, historically being one of thrusts and parries, blocks and feints, cannot absolutely be taken at face value. There is no intent here to cast aspersion in Borris' direction. However, it is only logical that he would seek to deflect any notion that his client has a done deal with the Yankees rather than risk discouraging other suitors.

There is no reason to believe any news or speculation from this source has ever been wrong. The source has described what is tantamount to a news blackout imposed by the front office as a result of a longstanding edict from George Steinbrenner that absolutely no information from unofficial outlets will be tolerated.

Yet, within this isolated culture it is impossible to entirely forbid an exchange of knowledge which may or may not leak from the core of the club's inner sanctum. publishes news and other confirmed facts, but also is a conduit for ephemeral rumors which may or may not pass the traditional authentication test that might be imposed by mainstream media. At this time, the Bronx Bomber's source has not backed away from his assertion, and until such time as that occurs we have no reason to retract it, even though it has created a good deal of healthy skepticism.

Further complicating the matter is Mr. Steinbrenner's edict that absolutely nothing should be permitted from unofficial sources under penalty of suspension or dismissal, and therefore no concrete denial can be anticipated from the Yankees.

Information has since been reported that the Yankees have a tentative deal in place with Richie Sexson. Still, as Sexson is a right-handed bat, the signing of Bonds, a lefty, would not necessarily be precluded. We expect an update within 24 to 48 hours and will not hasten to draw any other conclusion at this time except to say the report has yet to be debunked.

- Publisher,