The signing of Deion Sanders has hit a temporary snag - the outrage of baseball.
Sources say the New York Yankees and Sanders were going to announce a $2.5-million deal Saturday but put the signing on hold, possibly to quell the discouraging words being heard around the game.Both players and baseball executives were stunned - and some angered - by the deal Sanders' people had negotiated to keep the 22-year-old in pinstripes for the entire season.
Sources say the Yankees were feeling some pressure from members of the baseball fraternity. The pressure served to delay the deal, but has not killed it. Sanders probably will sign when the Yankees are in New York.
Yankee vice president George Bradley was expected in Cleveland Saturday to announce the deal, but canceled his trip.
Sanders looked forlorn and was unusually quiet in the Yankee clubhouse before Saturday night's game. When asked about the status of the deal, Sanders wearily said, "Oh man, I don't even know what's going on anymore."
Said Eugene Parker, Sanders' attorney: "It should be done by the first of the week. There are still some minor details to work out. ... I don't see it falling apart.
"As a lawyer I've got to protect Deion. I can't have him enter into an agreement that would come back to haunt him ... not that this will."
But it is haunting the rest of baseball. Chicago White Sox general manger Larry Himes said, "(The reported deal) is ridiculous. It's a ridiculous amount of money to give someone when you compare it to his production level, which is the rule agents like to use in arbitration hearings.
"This is like going into a run-down neighborhood and paying a million dollars for a house that should cost $100,000. You're sitting there hoping it brings up the value of the neighborhood but it never does."
Bobby Cox, the Atlanta Braves' GM and manager said, "It's not bad when you can fail at both (sports) and still get this kind of money."
But perhaps Texas GM Tom Grieve put it best when he said, "It sounds like a pretty good deal - a pretty good deal for Deion."