WASHINGTON'S OFFER TO BONDS NO LONGER A LAUGHING MATTER
|The Frontier League's Washington Wild Things took the time to dream about what Bonds would look like in their uniform. - courtesy Washington
By Chuck King
Washington Wild Things general manager Ross Vecchio had some fun with his free agent offer to Barry Bonds. He figures the fun is over now.
Vecchio left the gym following the end of his son's basketball game on Thursday night to find his voicemail stacked with messages. It wasn't until he got home and turned on ESPN that he found out Barry Bonds had been indicted for perjury.
"I was just like, Wow!," said Vecchio. "I think people realize that this is something that's serious and what we did is something that was fun There is nothing silly about (Bond's indictment)."
Two days prior to Bonds' indictment the Frontier League's Wild Things issued a tongue-in-cheek press release announcing their formal offer to obtain Major League Baseball's all-time home run leader.
Vecchio offered an incentive-laden contract to Bonds that included bonuses if he broke many of the league's single season offensive records, including home runs, RBIs, and walks.
Knowing that Bonds is accustomed to traveling well, the Wild Things also offered Bonds the use of his own single king-size hotel room on the road. In addition, Washington offered to split any revenue generated from Bonds' Wild Thing merchandise right down the middle. They even offered to help find him a host family, should he desire one.
Washington's offer drew international attention from the media. Nationally syndicated radio host Jim Rome devoted time on his show to the Wild Things and Vecchio fielded interviews from San Francisco radio stations and members of the Canadian press.
"This thing had a life of about 48 hours, with or without (the indictment)," Vecchio said. "It was a wild ride for 48 hours."
Vecchio, who met Bonds once, said neither the slugger nor his agents responded to the offer.
"It was like asking a friend to ask a girl I don't know to go with me to the dance," Vecchio said. "I haven't heard from her, so I am going to ask someone else."
This isn't the only time Vecchio and Washington have found themselves splashed across national newspapers. The Wild Things once offered a tryout to an 80-year old named Charles Sheen and to another named Rick Vaughn in a gag paying homage to the movie "Major League."
Though pleased with the success of his latest publicity stunt, Vecchio now plans to concentrate on getting the Wild Things ready for the 2008 season.
"People woke up from all around the world talking about the Washington Wild Things the other day," Vecchio said. "Nothing is funny about what is going on now."
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