MLB: Selig may be happier if Bonds left MLB

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Commissioner Bud Selig's life would be much simpler if Barry Bonds were out of the game. Not just because Bonds is a face of the steroid era but because Hank Aaron is Selig's close friend and Bonds' final obstacle for the all-time home run title. Asked if the common belief is true that he'd prefer Bonds gone, Selig said during a Thursday visit to Treasure Island, 'It's not true." -- San Francisco Chronicle

Unprompted, Mike Schmidt ticked off two names that, well, "tick me off. Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn, because they strike out so much." This came from a guy who struck out 1,883 times during 18 years with the Phillies, including five seasons of more than 135 whiffs. He struck out so much early in his career that teammate Willie Montañez called him "Ah-choo" because strikeouts create the same breeze as a sneeze. -- Philadelphia Inquirer

While Bernie Williams, Brian Cashman and Scott Boras haven't confirmed Williams will be in the Yankees' camp, speculation was thick in the Tampa air yesterday that the Yankee icon would accept a minor league deal and battle for a roster spot. -- New York Post

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said last week that he hopes to keep Michael Young and Mark Teixeira as Rangers for the long term. He confirmed Thursday that he has 'reached out' to Young's agent, Dan Lozano, to begin negotiations on a contract extension for Young. -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Chan Ho Park is expected to sign with the Mets in the next 48 hours, a source told the Daily News late last night. -- New York Daily News

Albert Pujols received a perfect score on the oral and written exam, according to Chester Moyer, officer in charge of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service's St. Louis branch. The 10-15 minute exam included questions about the American form of government, the function of its three branches, how a judicial proceeding works and the nation's. -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Armando Benitez will throw off a mound today for the first time since he left the Giants in September because of complications from an arthritic right knee. In an interview with KNBR on Wednesday, manager Bruce Bochy reported Benitez was "a couple, a few pounds overweight," a discouraging report since the pitcher was supposed to be getting in shape over the winter to take pressure off his knee. -- San Francisco Chronicle

Todd Helton, who has veto power over any trade, said he fully expects to finish this season with the Rockies. He said he'd reject any trade once this season begins. Beyond that, he isn't sure what his future with the Rockies holds. -- Denver Post

Mike Hampton took his first step toward returning to the mound this season following elbow surgery when he took the mound Wednesday morning at the Braves' pitching minicamp. Hampton threw 20-25 pitches, all fastballs, and came away feeling "pretty good," he said. -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Shortly after signing with the Yankees this winter, Kei Igawa took a batch of major league baseballs home to Japan so he could get a feel for the less sticky ball that he will be using every five days. -- New York Daily News