To Barry or Not to Barry? Yes…Who’s Got the Guts?!

He’s out there. Somewhere.

Baseball’s Bigfoot – unseen but we just know he’s for real – is lurking about, and someone’s going to bag him.

Some GM, unable to resist the lure, is going to sign Barry Bonds.

And I cannot wait until it happens.

Until now, baseball’s home run king and not long ago the game’s most feared hitter has been The Player Who Shall Not Be Named. With perjury and obstruction of justice charges stemming from the feds’ obsession with BALCO hanging over his head, Bonds was essentially blacklisted.

Whether conspiratorial or not, everyone in the game seemed to come to the same conclusion: Not on my team.

Until now.

Now the smoke is starting to come into view.

Teams with needs and desperation are suddenly, if not quietly, entertaining the thought of signing Bonds for the second half of the season. (Oh, somewhere Bud Selig is startin’ to fidget.)

And two of those teams are in sports most visible markets: New York and Boston.

Boston may be in need of a big bat if Big Papi Ortiz, trying to return from a wrist injury, isn’t able to come back at full strength. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe recently wrote that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said there was “nothing to speculation” that the Sox might sign Bonds if Ortiz was not due back for a while. This followed musings from ESPN’s Peter Gammons that the Sox had had “internal discussions” about Bonds.

In New York it gets even better. The Mets are in dire need of something to lift them out of mediocrity. They may be in need of a viable replacement for outfielder Ryan Church, who’s still fighting off dizzy spells and headaches from a concussion suffered during spring training. Yesterday, interim manager Jerry Manuel almost gushed at the prospect of having Bonds.

“Oooh, Barry Bonds,” he said. “That would be interesting. That would make [reporters] jobs easy. You’d have something every day to do.”

He added: “I don’t know Barry as personal as everyone knows him,” Manuel said. “But the talent . . . he’s a very special player.”

GM Omar Minaya was coy, but he never said no to the idea of making Bonds a Met.

And in New York, not saying no is an emphatic maybe.

Let’s be truthful here. There’s no “baseball” reason for not signing Bonds.

In 126 games last season, he hit 28 homers and drove in 66 runs. He walked 132 times, and in an indication that he’s still a feared hitter, 43 of those walks were intentional.

Is there anyone playing today who’s walked intentionally just because?

His .480 on-base percentage last season was above his career average. And overall .276 BA was respectable.

He’s 43. So what.

He’ll be booed. Yeah, until the first ball sails over the Green Monster or into the construction site for the Mets’ new stadium being built hard by Shea.

He’ll be a negative locker-room presence. Not for a team in the hunt.

Not for a team with guts.

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6 thoughts on “To Barry or Not to Barry? Yes…Who’s Got the Guts?!

  1. The Insider says:

    Very well put Roy! Keep on reminding people about the truth and not what they want to believe.

    The Insider

  2. Arthur Woods says:

    Roy…once again your pen says it all. I follow your column and I was wondering where I could your “tell like it is” journalist views again! You my dawg man!!

    ps. Dude, you got to write about he “white washing” of our national pastime….and how the MLB’s Inner City Program needs to start at home with US and end with MLB helping to pick up the tab!

    woods

  3. MarvinK says:

    …maybe the non-baseball reason that organizations don’t pick up Bonds is because they don’t want some clueless European blogger to write a moronic entry about how we should cancel the World Series for a couple of years to help their players realize they should stop doping?

    ..just a thought.

  4. John says:

    I’m curious Roy, is your difference in opinion regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs for baseball and professional cycling because cycling is a predominantly European (read white) sport? Or is it because you just wanted to jump on the American bash-cycling bandwagon? Sadly, based on your recent track record, I suspect the former. To suggest shutting down an event where less than 2% of the current participants have tested positive – and subsequently been carted away to JAIL, as well as being suspended for 2 years from the sport – while suggesting it would be a *good* thing for a team to sign this proven cheater is ludicrous. You should be embarrassed sir.

  5. Eric says:

    I just LOVE the sweet stench of ignorant Black racism in the morning….

  6. hernan says:

    So Mr Johnson, I see yo have no journalism ethic by having double standards about some sports. I one hand, you adamantly expect to bring back a lying cheat to baseball, and on the other hand, you expect to gain some recognition by saying the tour de france should take a 2 or 3 year break in order to catch all the cycling cheats.
    Where is professionalism? If you are going to come up with a white sword denouncing the cheats in cycling, you should not come up and support another doper in baseball.

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