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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J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.