Bonds gives money to journalists, which makes some queasy

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Barry Bonds’ charity organization, the Barry Bonds Family Foundation, has donated $20,000 to The National Association of Black Journalists.

The donation has stirred a bit of controversy, and it is not sitting well with some members of the NABJ. From the AP:

The gift comes as the former San Francisco Giants slugger prepares for trial on federal charges he lied to a grand jury about steroid use.

Association member Kenneth Cooper says Bonds is a controversial figure and journalists and their organizations should maintain their distance.

Bonds could go on trial in his never-ending perjury case at some point next year, and some members of the NABJ could end up covering the story, so any potential conflict of interest – or just as bad, the appearance of a conflict of interest – is a legitimate concern.

Then again, maybe it’s not that big a deal, as the money will be used to fund an “Entrepreneurial Spirit Award” named after Ray Taliaferro, a long-time Bay Area broadcaster. According to this report, Bonds wanted the award named after Taliaferro “in recognition of the broadcaster’s civic and public contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

So what do you think HBT readers? Is it inappropriate for the NABJ to accept this donation, or is it much ado about nothing? Frankly, given his interactions with journalists over the years, I’m just amazed Bonds would give money to any of them.

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Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2017 option vests, but salary still undetermined

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Hisashi Iwakuma #18 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.

Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).

This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.

Ichiro Suzuki passes Wade Boggs for 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 28: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins grounds out during the 2nd inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images
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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.

Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.

Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.

By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).

Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.