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If you believe in the idea that there are infinite parallel universes, then you’d have to believe that one of them features Barry Bonds cracking some home runs in Yankees pinstripes.
According to Bonds himself, that universe was almost this one. He says that he was within minutes of donning pinstripes.
Bonds hopped on ESPN’s KayRod simulcast of Sunday night’s Yankees-Red Sox games. The slugger was asked whether it was true that he was nearly a Yankee.
He said it was, but only for a few minutes.
(Never mind why Bonds is yelling his story like he’s trying to tell it over the din of his neighbor’s lawn mower.)
“It was very close, for about 15 or 20 minutes,” Bonds said. “Because, what happened was, and I tell people the true story, the Yankees offered me the same contract I think Ryne Sandberg had at the same time, or a little bit more than that.”
His agent said he’d get back to the Yankees. In the meantime, Bonds himself went off to get a bite to eat.
“By the time I got to the place to get something to eat, my agent called me back and the San Francisco Giants offered a higher contract and I said, ‘This is great, I want to go home.’”
Baseball History Would’ve Been Very Different
Alright, so, it’s not the most riveting story ever told.
You can boil it down to “I got offered millions, ran down the street to Panda Express for lunch — I had orange chicken if memory serves — and another team offered me more millions, so I signed with them.”
There are better stories out there, that’s for sure.
However, it would have changed the trajectory of baseball history, especially as Aaron Judge chases down Roger Maris’ 61 home runs.
Bonds’ 73 homers in 2001 (yes, there’s a big asterisk next to that number) still seems untouchable. There’s a good chance that he would’ve reached that number as a Yankee had things played out a little differently.
Sports Illustrated pointed out that Bonds’ version of events differs from what the media reported at the time. Back then, it was reported that talks between the two sides fell apart when Bonds pushed for a guaranteed sixth year to his deal.
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