When 30 MLB clubs decided to take a pass on Barry Bonds last season — one injury plagued franchise giving Hall Of Famers Trot Nixon and Fernando Tatis a shot rather than bring in history’s most accomplished offensive force — the Sultan Of Surly’s agent cried collusion.  Many months after the fact, the Players Association has reached a similar conclusion, and Murray Chass — in a blog entry penned before a grievance was announced Thursday — found the union’s lack of earlier action somewhat curious.

œOur investigation yielded evidence of a Basic Agreement violation regarding Barry Bonds and his post 2007 free agency, Michael Weiner, the union™s general counsel, said in an e-mail response. The union and the Commissioner™s Office have reached an agreement regarding the timing of the filing of any potential grievance.  Any other comment at this time is not appropriate.

When it believes it has a case, the union doesn™t usually delay filing a grievance. Considering its history with collusion and the fact that Bonds is a high-profile player, it would seem more likely that the union would act as quickly as possible.

In this instance, though, the union is waiting, a baseball official said, for Bonds to get beyond the trial he faces on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from his grand jury testimony in the Balco case.

Borris declined to comment on a grievance, saying he would leave comment to union lawyers.