Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Bonds Tango

Back in business school, one of the concepts they taught us in negotiation class was called the BATNA, the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. Introduced by Fisher and Ury in their book Getting to Yes, a BATNA should be established before entering negotiations, in order to allow one to make an informed decision about whether to accept a offer, by comparing it to one's baseline alternative.

And this brings me to Jeff Borris, Barry Bonds' agent, and Brian Sabean, Giants GM, regarding the negotiations which continue to move at a snail's pace. Both sides are "far apart," according to ESPN, with more talks scheduled for Wednesday. And this continues to be baffling, as neither side seems to me to have a compelling or even reasonable alternative. And yet they both are sitting there bluffing like a BATNA truly exists.

From Barry's perspective, it is ludicrous to take Borris at his word when he says he talks to teams every hour and "Bonds is always the first team mentioned." Unless, of course, the mention is followed by the statement, "What the hell is taking so long here?" Barry doesn't have any fans outside of the Bay Area, but the A's are reportedly looking at Piazza. Bochy wants him, giving Bonds a manager actually willing to deal with the circus. Borris should quit the charade.

Similarly, who is Sabean going to play in left? Jason Ellison, a .222 batter with 2 HRs and 4 RBI last year? Randy Winn, a .262 batter with hot and cold streaks but nothing in between? Like either option will sell seats. Manny is apparently off the market, leaving no other left fielders of note. Yet Sabean contends Bonds and the Giants "aren't in the same ballpark yet," which may be due to the fact that the park changes corporate names every year or so. Heck, the Giants aren't in the same ballpark from year to year, let alone their players.

The Bonds tango is getting more boring and pathetic each day. Sabean should just sign Bonds for the future (just as he has every other former Giant, during this offseason), and end it.

Oh yeah, and please make it a five-year deal for $9M/year.


Lasorda said...

Actually, one of the rumors that I read the other day (of course, I cannot find the link, so bear with me) was that Bonds may pull a Clemens 2006 and just wait until May to see what team suits him. It makes some sense: he avoids the whole spring training media circus, he gets to pick a team that looks like it will be in contention, and it gives him plenty of time to catch Aaron. Personally, I'd think that the Angels or Dodgers would make the most sense, but perhaps he'd be a decent fit with the Red Sox(once JD gets hurt and if Manny is traded) or the Yankees (You think King George wouldn't love to have a Yankee recapture the HR crown?).

Steve Sax said...

I saw this too (I can't find the link either), and thought it was a good idea as well. I almost would have believed it...

...until he showed up in Orlando! Weird, weird, weird.