The New York Times answers some of the questions we raised March 7 when we saw that Sports Illustrated’s web site and the AP beat the Chronicle on details about Barry Bonds’ alleged steroids use disclosed in the new book “Game of Shadows” by Chronicle writers Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada. We were asking — how did the Chronicle get scooped on information in a book by two of its own writers? Chron editor Phil Bronstein (pictured) told NY Times reporter Lia Miller that the paper rejected an excerpt of the book. “We had right of first refusal. It struck us at some point along the way the price was pretty high,” Bronstein said. “We would be reprinting basic facts that had already been in the newspaper, but in a different form, and paying a lot of money for it.” Sports Illustrated paid $10,000 to $15,000 for the excerpt. SI managing editor Terry McDonnell said his magazine (with a circulation of 3.3 million) was able to give the book a wider audience than the Chron (circ about 440,000). “It would not have been as big a splash in a newspaper as through us,” McDonnell told the Times. “We could launch this with more firepower, and with a lot more attention.”

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