Despite assurances from Barry Bonds’ agent Jeff Borris that “the Mets have no interest” in his client, Newsday’s David Lennon helpfully presses the matter with general manager Omar Minaya.

When asked directly if he would consider Bonds, Minaya smiled and said, “I would say that I’m going to focus on our guys and our guys hopefully will be OK.”

The one sure way to stop such speculation is for Minaya to respond there is “zero-point-zero-zero” chance of the Mets acquiring Bonds. And until the GM does precisely that, Bonds will cast a shadow over Shea, like the giant Shrek balloon from the Macy’s parade.

The talk even trickled into the manager’s office, where a reporter posed the question to Jerry Manuel about making room for Bonds and his Barcalounger.

“Oooooooh, y’all are good,” Manuel said. “Y’all are damn good. Oooh, Barry Bonds. That would be interesting. That would make your jobs easy. You’d have something every day to do.”

After praising Bonds for a few seconds and talking about his dad, Manuel was asked if Bonds still can play the outfield. “I don’t know,” the manager said, smiling. “Next question.”

One might well ask if Moises Alou or Ryan Church can still play the outfield, too. You’d have to be pretty delusional to think Bonds wouldn’t be a liability in left, nor is it possible to imagine he’d not be a massive distraction in an already fractious clubhouse.  But he might provide better protection hitting behind Wright and Beltran than say, Damion Easley.