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Marlins sluggers say Barry Bonds didn’t ‘win’ home run derby

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The news that Barry Bonds — at 51 years old, no less — beat Miami Marlins sluggers Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton in a home run-hitting contest was greeted with amazement when the story surfaced on Wednesday.

Emerging statements concerning exactly what happened, however, are now planting seeds of doubt concerning the veracity of the original accounting of the events related to how the Marlins new hitting coach allegedly out-slugged his much younger pupils.

SiriusXM host Craig Mish got the ball rolling by reporting he witnessed Bonds beating the Marlins players in a spring training home run derby on Wednesday.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, however, reports via Twitter that Yelich is disputing Mish’s version of the events.

Further, as noted in an Eye on Baseball report, the notion that Bonds didn’t really win the contest rests on something of a technicality.

Via the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer:

A handful of Marlins took part in a practice field hitting drill in which the goal is to “score runs” by whatever means — singles, doubles, triples or home runs. Because one of the three-man teams was short a player, Bonds — the Marlins’ new hitting coach — was asked to join.

Bonds was on the same team as Stanton and Christian Yelich.

“He hit more home runs than me, yes,” Stanton confirmed.

In other words, Bonds did hit more home runs than Stanton — and perhaps Yelich as well — but since he was on the same team as them, he couldn’t actually beat them.

That certainly seems like a healthy dose of splitting hairs, that’s for sure.

Mish, for what it’s worth, is sticking to his story.

Regardless of the technicalities and differing versions of how things played out, one thing nevertheless appears certain: Barry Bonds can still knock it out of the park with the best of them, even when those guys are half his age.