Crawford, Upton: Who wouldn't want Bonds?
If Rays officials do decide to pursue all-time home run leader Barry Bonds, two of their young star outfielders said they would welcome the move.
"C'mon,'' B.J. Upton said, "it's Barry.''
Two-time All-Star Carl Crawford said Bonds could be a good addition to the team's lineup, despite whatever issues, and attention, might follow him.
"If they are really serious about it, I'm pretty sure we can adjust to it,'' Crawford said before Monday's workout. "It's Barry Bonds - who wouldn't want to have him on their team?
"He still hit, what, 28 home runs last year? He's walking a lot, still been very productive. You can understand why we could be interested in him. I'm surprised to see him not signed yet.''
The Times reported Monday that Rays officials have had internal discussions about Bonds, as well as other remaining free agents, but have not decided whether to proceed. Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, is in Tampa this week but wouldn't say if he planned to meet with the Rays.
Rays officials didn't have to much to say about the subject on Monday. Through spokesman Rick Vaughn, Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said: "It's a non-story.''
ESPN's Buster Olney addressed the subject in his daily Insider blog, concluding "he does make a whole lot of sense for Tampa Bay,'' and offering this idea for what the Rays lineup could look like in mid-summer (implying that Evan Longoria will start the season in the minors):
- 2B Akinori Iwamura
- LF Carl Crawford
- CF B.J. Upton
- DH Barry Bonds
- 1B Carlos Pena
- RF Rocco Baldelli/Cliff Floyd
- 3B Evan Longoria
- C Dioner Navarro
- SS Jason Bartlett
The Cardinals considered Bonds and decided not to proceed, according to manager Tony La Russa.
Also, the Twins have decided Delmon Young will play leftfield, and manager Ron Gardenhire praised him for his restraint in responding to Carl Crawford's comments last week.