Barry Bonds' record 73rd home run ball fetched $450,000 at auction, $23,500 less than a lawyer says he's owed for representing one of the fans who claimed ownership of the ball.
Martin Triano of San Francisco is suing his former client, Alex Popov, for $473,500 in legal fees. Popov was the Giants fan who briefly gloved the ball before being mauled in the Pac Bell Park stands in October 2001.
Represented by Triano, Popov sued San Diego college student Patrick Hayashi, who ended up with the ball after the scramble. In his suit, Popov argued that he deserved to get the ball, which represented the season home run record. But after a year of litigation over who owned the ball, a San Francisco judge ordered the men to sell it and split the proceeds.
The ball was auctioned last month to comic book tycoon Todd McFarlane, who also paid $3.2-million for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball in 1999. Analysts expected the Bonds ball to fetch $1-million or more.
A July 17 hearing is set between Triano and Popov, a Berkeley restaurant owner. San Francisco Superior Court Judge David Garcia has ordered Popov to keep his half of the ball's proceeds in a bank account pending the outcome of the dispute.
Triano said he had a billing deal with Popov in which he charged an hourly rate. Triano declined to divulge the rate, citing attorney-client privilege.
Popov declined to say how much he agreed to pay per hour but said the final bill "is way overblown." He said he was "exploring all options," including suing Triano on allegations of legal malpractice.
ALL-STAR GAME: Roger Clemens should be a commissioner's pick for Tuesday's game, according to the head of Fox Sports, which will telecast the contest.
Ed Goren, president of the sports division of the News Corp. network, said the Yankees' 300-game winner should be added to the American League squad under what would become annual choices by the commissioner's office.
Clemens, 40, who this season also became the third pitcher with 4,000 career strikeouts, has said this is his last season.
"It would be special if the commissioner were allowed to name a player from each league based on career achievement," Goren said. "As a baseball fan knowing it is Roger Clemens' last year, I would love to see him pitch to a batter."
Commissioner Bud Selig has added All-Stars before. Two years ago he made a "special exception" for Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. Both were added because they announced their retirements before the All-Star Game, baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said, a formal step Clemens has yet to take.
Meanwhile, Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said he doesn't want Roy Halladay to pitch in the game.
Halladay will be working on three days' rest Saturday against the first-place Yankees. He also is scheduled to start against second-place Boston on July 17 in Toronto's first game after the break.
Vanessa Carlton will sing The Star-Spangled Banner before the game, and Michael Buble will sing the Canadian anthem. Amy Grant will sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.
GIANTS: Left-hander Kirk Rueter left his start against St. Louis in the second with a strained pitching shoulder.
METS: Outfielder Cliff Floyd was out of the lineup with a sore right wrist and is expected to miss 3-4 days.
RED SOX: First-round supplemental pick Matt Murton, an outfielder from Georgia Tech, signed.
_ TIMES WIRES