Barry Bonds may end up playing baseball in Japan this year.

“He’s not retiring,” Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, told Metro yesterday. “He intends to play somewhere. If a door doesn’t open for Barry in the major leagues, as unbelievable as that possibility sounds, then Japan certainly is an option.”

Borris, remarkably, has been driving from training camp to training camp in Florida, hoping to persuade a general manager of some major-league club to give Bonds a new opportunity.


At this point, frankly, it appears as though Bonds is being blackballed. He’s the top home-run hitter in baseball history and arguably the finest offensive player ever, but he is 43, has a bad knee, is generally perceived as a steroid-user and is facing perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges. No interest is being expressed in him, and his former teammates with the Giants are using his departure to motivate themselves.

“The guys feel like now’s the time to take it upon themselves to be accountable,” San Francisco veteran Dave Roberts said. “We can’t count on Barry Bonds to carry the load any more, and that’s OK with us.”

•Mariners superstar Ichiro Suzuki cares about fashion and attire, which is why he often wears designer clothes and carries accessories, such as purses.

His teammates rib him regularly, but he claims he doesn’t care. He even has his own line of clothing, including jeans he recently introduced.

“I enjoy clothes and what I wear,” he said. “Who cares what (his teammates) say? They can’t believe what I wear, but I think what they wear is usually a crime.”

•The Boston Red Sox, as if they’re not strong enough, think they’re close to fortifying their pitching staff by acquiring Joe Blanton from the Oakland A’s, possibly for a package including outfielder Coco Crisp … The Chicago White Sox are on the verge of obtaining veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon … You’ve never heard of Ambiorix Burgos, probably, but he’s with the New York Mets and, of course, well off, although not quite as affluent as he was Wednesday, when thieves broke into his hotel room at training camp and stole his bag of jewelry, which contained bracelets, chains, watches and more — worth $270,000 US … And check out

In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.

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