Peter Magowan, owner of the Giants, had this classic quote when asked by reporters how he could have given Barry Bonds a $16-20M contract when no other teams were interested. Magowan had this to say to the San Francisco Comical:
"Barry is worth more here than he is elsewhere," Magowan said, because he is popular here and the home-run record he is chasing will mean more to San Francisco fans.
"The people who say we were bidding against ourselves and there was nobody else interested -- that's complete bull. At some price, there would have been some people interested.
"We were roundly criticized for offering money to a player where there were no other bidders. It's more complicated than that. You have to think about what gives the guy enough money to reflect his status and what he's accomplished, and that you do want him as a player, and not look at every nickel and dime what he costs," Magowan said.
"You want to give the player enough money that you don't humiliate him."
So let's paraphrase, shall we? Magowan was going to pay Bonds whatever the hell he wanted. At some price, other teams might have been interested--but at the price paid, no one was even close. But to Magowan, this was the equivalent of a gold watch for years of service. A $20M gold watch.
It is kind and noble of Magowan to save Bonds, with frail ego and low self-esteem, from any contract humiliation. As for other humiliation, Bonds can get that at all road games.