Barry Bonds: "I don't lift as heavy weights anymore to be bulky"

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I suppose that’s low-hanging fruit. Alas.  Point is that Barry Bonds was back in San Francisco yesterday for the reunion of the Giants 2000 team/celebration of ten years of that nice ballpark they have. He hasn’t done much media lately because someone who is indicted on perjury charges is well-advised to never say anything to anyone, but he did give the press six minutes of his time. Highlights, such as they were:

  • Bonds had some nice words for Mark McGwire: “I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.” From the video of the interview you can tell he”s talking about becoming a hitting coach, but you just know people are going to take that as Bonds saying he was proud of McGwire for confessing to using roids. 
  • Indeed, the next question from a reporter was asking Bonds if he could see himself “doing what Mark did,” and then quickly appending ” . . . becoming a coach” in a way that made it seem clear that the reporter was aware of the ambiguity between apologizing/coaching.  Bonds winced a bit until that “becoming a coach” part was added. You can tell he thought he was being asked if he was going to apologize.  Just kind of interesting to watch.
  • Bonds said that he wasn’t retired yet and wasn’t sure what he’d do in the unlikely event that a team called him. Seems to be that he was just being PR mindful about the subject, however. Rich Aurilia had just announced his retirement at the same event, Bonds probably knew it, so there’s no way that he was going to stomp on that with some announcement, formal or otherwise, of his own. Bonds can be a jerk, but he’s not so big a jerk that he’s going to rain on a former teammates’s parade.  My guess is that he just ends up doing it Rickey-style and never saying he’s retired because, really, what’s the point?
  • The quote in the headline came when it was noted that he was in shape. The full quote is fun for any of you who love to hate Bonds:  “I’ve just been working out a lot, that’s all. I work
    out all the time. It’s been in my genes my whole life. I
    just don’t work out as hard anymore. I don’t lift as heavy weights
    anymore to be bulky. I don’t know, I’ve got that Hollywood look.”

Fire away.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.