COURTS: Barry Bonds asked a federal judge in San Francisco to dismiss perjury charges against him Wednesday, arguing the indictment is “scattershot” and noted for its “striking inartfulness.”
Bonds was charged in November with lying to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In the motion filed in San Francisco federal court, the former San Francisco Giant neither admits nor denies taking the drugs, but argues the questions asked by prosecutors during a December 2003 grand jury appearance were vague, ambiguous and confusing.
The lawyers said “the questions posed to him by two different prosecutors were frequently imprecise, redundant, overlapping and frequently compound.”
ROCKIES: Troy Tulowitzki went into spring training last season just hoping to secure a spot on the Colorado Rockies’ roster.
That won’t be a concern this season. Tulowitzki and the NL champions finalized a $31 million, six-year contract that includes a club option for the 2014 season.
“It’s surreal,” said Tulowitzki, a 23-year-old slick-fielding shortstop. “It’s awesome.”
Tulowitzki gets $750,000 in each of the next two seasons, $3.5 million in 2010, $5.5 million in 2011, $8.5 million in 2012 and $10 million in 2013. The Rockies have a $15 million option for 2014 with a $2 million buyout.
PIRATES: Oft-injured pitcher Jaret Wright and Pittsburgh agreed on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Wright, a 15-game winner for Atlanta in 2004, had a 6.97 ERA while losing all three games he started for Baltimore last season. The right-hander pitched only in rehabilitation games after that because of a sore shoulder, but did not undergo surgery. The 32-year-old Wright is 68-60 with a 5.09 ERA while pitching for the Indians, Padres, Braves, Yankees and Orioles since 1997. He started Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for Cleveland.
RED SOX: The Boston Red Sox are putting advertisements on their uniforms for the first time. The World Series champions said they will wear sleeve patches with the logo “EMC” when they open the season with a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 22 and 23. EMC Corp. is a data-storage company based in Hopkinton, Mass. Ads usually are prohibited from uniforms in Major League Baseball, but the sport has made exceptions for games in Japan.
PAYROLL: The Yankees did finish first in something last year — spending. While its streak of AL East titles ended at nine, New York wound up with a record payroll of $218.3 million.
The World Series champion Boston Red Sox were a distant second at $155.4 million, according to information received by clubs from the commissioner’s office. In addition to the largest payroll, the Yankees have the highest revenue in the majors.
New York took in $415 million last year, giving about $100 million of it away in the sport’s revenue-sharing plan.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were third last season at $125.6 million, followed by the Mets ($120.9 million), Chicago Cubs ($115.9 million), Seattle ($114.4 million), Los Angeles Angels ($111 million), Philadelphia ($101.8 million), San Francisco ($101.5 million) and the Chicago White Sox ($100.2 million).
At the back end were Tampa Bay ($31.8 million), Florida ($33.1 million), Washington ($43.3 million) and Pittsburgh ($51.4 million).
In all, teams spent $2.71 billion on players last year, up from $2.49 billion in 2006 and $2.35 billion in 2005.
The 30 clubs estimate they took in $6.075 billion last year, an increase from $5.2 billion the previous season and $4.7 billion in 2005.
RAYS: Tampa Bay Rays and James Shields, a 26-year-old right-hander who has less than two full seasons of experience in the majors, agreed to a $11.25 million, four-year contract.
REDS: Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt and Cincinnati finalized their $3 million, one-year contract. Affeldt pitched for the NL champion Rockies last season. The 28-year-old was with the Kansas City Royals from 2002-06.
INDIANS: Rafael Betancourt, one of the AL’s top relievers last season, signed a two-year contract with Cleveland, which avoided going to salary arbitration with the right-hander. The 32-year-old Betancourt went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 68 appearances.