Thursday, August 9, 2007


So Bonds hit no. 757 yesterday, so reports on his antics are still abuzz.

One new tidbit just dawned on me that I didn't realize before. Bonds gave Mike Bacsik a autographed bat after Bacsik surrendered no. 756 to him. I'm sure it was good natured, but does it not have potential to be fishy?

I remember Torii Hunter got in trouble for something like this earlier this season, when he gave the Royals clubhouse champagne for sweeping the Tigers the previous season.

Hunter was found to be in violation of baseball's rule 21b, whch states:

Any player or person connected with a Club who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Club for services rendered or supposed to be or to have been rendered in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Club, and any player or person connected with a Club who shall solicit or accept from a player connected with another Club any gift or reward for any services rendered, or supposed to have been rendered, or who, having been offered any such gift or reward, shall fail to inform his League President or the Commissioner or the President of the Minor League Association, as the case may be, immediately of such offer, and of all facts and circumstances connected therewith, shall be declared ineligible for not less than three years.

I guess Bonds wasn't rewarding Bacsik for defeating another team, but what if there were extenuating circumstances to the home run. Consider that Mike Bacsik is a career 10-11 pitcher with a 5.21 ERA who was pitching to Bonds the entire night, as Bonds had hits in each of the two at-bats he had before Bacsik gave up the HR. Also consider that Bonds gave Clay Hensley a similar souvenir bat after he gave up no. 755. Hensley has already been suspended for using steroids and was sent down to Triple A the day after giving up the Bonds HR. It isn't like Bacsik and Hensley have rock-solid major league careers ahead of them, so is it unfathomable that they could be bribed?

I've been unable to find a full MLB rule book anywhere online to see if there is anything illegal with what Bonds did, which I'm sure there wasn't. The bats were probably just good-hearted tokens of appreciation.

[edit] Courtesy of, MLB rule 21a states:

Any player or person connected with a club ... who shall solicit or attempt to induce any player or person connected with a club ... to lose, or attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game with which such other player or person is or may be in any way connected [shall be declared permanently ineligible.]

Gifts are apparently only bad if they are given to clubs for defeating other clubs (Rule 21b) or to umpires (Rule 21c), though I guess a solicitation usually implies some sort of reward.