There's nothing quite like baseball's winter meetings. Minute-by-minute reports on speculation. Agents working their corners to make reporters believe everybody wants their guy. Executives acting all cool but dying to know what everybody's thinking.
It's kind of like a fantasy league draft for adults.
And as pseudo-events go, it's almost as bad as the 11 months leading up to the NFL draft.
Still, there are varying levels of weirdness in the winter meetings. And any winter meeting that includes Barry Bonds as a significant topic is really best for all involved.
The Giants have been forced to defend themselves by standing up and saying they aren't not interested in re-signing Bonds, which is what everybody thinks. In reality, the Giants are interested in signing Bonds only if they can't do something else first, and they've shown themselves willing to do everything but thaw Ted Williams to keep from committing to Bonds.
But remember, the winter meetings just started. The Williams deal remains on the table. The Giants, according to an unidentified source, aren't not interested in Williams just because he's dead.
But wait, there's more. Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, has decided to put his own stamp on the proceedings. Dude told reporters his man might not be sitting around waiting for the Giants to finish their little Hamlet routine. His man might stand up for himself and make his own decision.
Borris, believe it or not, thinks the Giants have taken Barry for granted for the past 14 years, "and they're taking him for granted now."
If you've been even a casual follower of the Giants/Bonds follies over the years -- you know, as the team and its ownership group prostrated itself to allow an ego-rabid superstar to do pretty much anything he wanted, including giving an alleged steroid dealer a locker in the clubhouse, ceding a quarter of the clubhouse to him and his numerous coddlers/paid friends/flunkies, accommodating his predilections for changing his clothes and being unavailable to pinch-hit in the late innings of a close game during a pennant race -- you can only laugh.
This Week's List
• Oh, sure, that clears up everything: A television graphic displaying the matchup for the Papajohns.com Bowl let us know the game was "formerly known as the Birmingham Bowl."
• And, of course, the most important question -- does Google want in?: Since when did pizza become an online endeavor?
• As if we needed another reminder: There's no excitement like Gramatica excitement.
• It's couldn't care less, but semantics aside, it's one of the better random, generic and indiscriminate teammate rip jobs we've seen in a while: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, speaking of his teammates, told St. Louis reporters, "There's more than one guy in this locker room that could care less if we're losing or thinks it's OK to make mistakes."
• "Hello, Mack? Urban here. I need some advice": Florida coach Urban Meyer worked the politics angle of the BCS better than anyone except the original BCS con man, Texas coach Mack Brown, whose performance in angling Cal out of the Rose Bowl two years ago will someday earn him a Lifetime Achievement Award.