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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Madden: On 25th anniversary of Pete Rose ban, steroid man Barry Bonds is back in Giants’ fold

Brooding Bill Madden hasn’t been this ticked off since Lucy Ann Polk split from The Four Polks!

One can only imagine what Pete Rose must have been thinking last week seeing convicted felon Barry Bonds , an arrogant, surly “anti-ambassador” of baseball his entire career, who cheated his way past Hank Aaron to the all-time home run record and then lied about his use of steroids to everyone, including a federal grand jury, back in uniform for the San Francisco Giants as a special spring training instructor.

There but for his own arrogance and lying about his transgressions against baseball could he too be back in baseball?

It was indeed a strange coincidence that Bonds should end his seven-year exile at the same time Rose’s ban for betting on baseball is now coming up on its 25th anniversary, and he was featured in the Daily News and on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the subject of a new book by SI’s Kostya Kennedy, “Pete Rose — An American Dilemma.” It probably says everything about Bonds’ return to the Giants that, on the day he arrived in camp last week, neither managing general partner Larry Baer nor GM Brian Sabean was anywhere to be found. You can be sure no one was more repulsed by Bonds’ appearance in the Giants camp than commissioner Bud Selig. Unfortunately, Selig was powerless to stop it because, despite being the poster guy for the steroids era in baseball, Bonds never failed a drug test, and despite Bonds’ post-career conviction for obstruction of justice in the government’s BALCO steroids case, the commissioner was unable to suspend him for conduct detrimental to baseball.

It’s believed Bonds wangled his invitation after lobbying some of the Giants’ limited partners and Baer, realizing that, like it or not, the Giants are eventually going to have start accepting him as part of their history, reluctantly gave the okay. And no doubt with the Hall of Fame in mind, Bonds was all nicey-nice with the reporters he held in contempt during his playing days, reminding me of the famous line by legendary New York baseball writer Frank Graham, about ‘20s Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel, who shunned the writers most of his career until finally deciding to oblige them in his last season: “He’s learning to say hello, when it’s time to say goodbye.”

Repoz Posted: March 15, 2014 at 10:28 PM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2014 at 10:52 PM (#4672241)
Man, get past it already. McGwire was brought back years ago, actually suspended players from Manny to Peralta have continued to get contracts and play. Even Victor Conte is back in the sports nutrition business, working mainly with boxers apparently, and oh he's clean, trust him. This story sounds very close to the BALCO training regimen.
   2. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 11:38 PM (#4672258)
The crime was no one resigning him after a .276 / .480 / .565 / 1.045 / 169OPS+ with 132 walks and 28 home runs in 477 PA's.

So the notion that this is some sort of affront to be bringing him back now as a special instructor is even more asinine.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4672264)
Barry Bonds must surely wonder who the #### Bill Madden is and why he has a hard-on for convicted felon Pete Rose.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4672266)
Let's also point out that Bonds was one example of a broader phenomenon in baseball. While your friends smoking pot is no excuse for you smoking pot, it is a fairly common thing for young people to do. Steroid use was a widespread phenomenon in baseball at the time and the only thing that makes Bonds stand out are his numbers. If you want a more objectionable analogy, Bonds was a drunk driver and vilified at this level only because fate happened to put an occupied vehicle in his path and not in the path of the thousands of others driving drunk the same night.

By baseball standards, Rose committed a heinous, pre-meditated crime. Repeatedly and seemingly without remorse not only while he was committing it but for several years after he was caught. As far as we know, Rose is the only player to commit this crime since 1920; as far as we know, this behavior was never commonplace in the game since 1920; and of course there was an actual written rule. The nice analogy is that he was an embezzler; the nasty analogy is that he was he was a serial killer.

One can possibly argue that roid usage damaged the game more than Rose -- in a similar way that one can argue that drunk driving, even if you don't kill anyone, is worse than embezzlement -- but that damage was done with or without Bonds while the damage Rose did was all Rose. A position that Rose shouldn't be more vilified than Bonds makes no sense to me -- unless you're one of those namby-pamby let's just forgive everybody types like Mandela. :-)

Note, I think it is reasonable to believe Rose's punishment has gone on long enough and the HoF ban should be lifted (I'm OK with that if not what you'd call supportive) or the MLB ban should be lifted (I'm not OK with this).
   5. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4672267)
Bill Madden's a racist.

Figured if we're going to have another one of these threads I might as well get the accelerant out.
   6. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4672270)
Madden is so terrible.
   7. Baldrick Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:33 AM (#4672276)
Okay, it's reason #654 why this article is terrible, but:
It was indeed a strange coincidence that Bonds should end his seven-year exile at the same time Rose’s ban for betting on baseball is now coming up on its 25th anniversary

It was neither strange, nor a coincidence. It's just two unrelated things that happened at different times.
   8. KT's Pot Arb Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:55 AM (#4672280)
Rose didn't just gamble on baseball, he cheated the fans of dingers!

It's pretty obvious Rose was taking steroids, but the lousy ############ was too lazy to lift weights while he was juicing and wasted most of the benefits.
   9. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:00 AM (#4672281)
The crime was no one resigning him after a .276 / .480 / .565 / 1.045 / 169OPS+ with 132 walks and 28 home runs in 477 PA's.

Has there ever been an explanation that there wasn't a single team that was willing to sign him for a minimum salary? There had to be some sort of agreement to keep him out of the game which seems like it should be illegal.
   10. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:36 AM (#4672284)
There had to be some sort of agreement to keep him out of the game which seems like it should be illegal.

If that is what happened, it would indeed be collusion.
   11. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:56 AM (#4672286)
What a hack
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4672292)
It's only a short 162 days away from the 25th anniversary of Rose's banning. How can we expect a keen-eyed Spink winner like Bill Madden to miss a "strange coincidence" that perfect?

Unlike Rose's ban, March 2014 is the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Kudos to Madden for giving us another toxic mess caused by professional ineptitude.
   13. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4672300)
The only thing that Barry Bonds and Pete Rose have in common is that neither is in the HOF. Or my kitchen.
   14. Bug Selig Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4672303)
While being indignant because he wasn't consulted about other people choosing to associate with someone he considers bad, maybe Madden should tell us how he feels about Bill Conlin's continued membership in the BBWAA.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4672305)
BBWAA membership survives death?
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4672309)
While being indignant because he wasn't consulted about other people choosing to associate with someone he considers bad, maybe Madden should tell us how he feels about Bill Conlin's continued membership in the BBWAA.

Conlin only hurt specific children. Barry Bonds hurt all children everywhere.
   17. kcgard2 Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4672313)
Has there ever been an explanation that there wasn't a single team that was willing to sign him for a minimum salary?

Assuming that Bonds would have signed for a minimum salary, at the time, the federal investigation was hanging over Bonds' head and one general sentiment was that Bonds serving considerable jail time was a possibility. Secondly, by that time, Bonds was a hated and vilified character for a large portion of the fanbases in just about every market outside SF. Third, there were reports that his knees were all but shot and while nobody doubted he could still hit, some doubted whether he could play other than DH. Fourth, some people talked about the "clubhouse effect" FWIW. So there were numerous reasons why many GMs would shy away. Should they have been enough to keep all away? It's hard to say from a distance, but my opinion is that I can't just assume collusion given all the factors at play. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it may be difficult to recall the extreme ill will a club could have bought for itself by signing Bonds at that time, from this distance and with how opinions have shifted (though not for everyone, obviously). Even the Giants didn't re-sign him, and that was the one market where perhaps a majority would have actually cheered for him, I think.
   18. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4672314)
Madden is so terrible.

Joe or John?
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4672315)
the federal investigation was hanging over Bonds' head and one general sentiment was that Bonds serving considerable jail time was a possibility


And another was that he'd have to miss a big chunk of the upcoming season for his trial.
   20. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4672336)
the federal investigation was hanging over Bonds' head and one general sentiment was that Bonds serving considerable jail time was a possibility


And another was that he'd have to miss a big chunk of the upcoming season for his trial.


30 teams independently decided that the risk of guy making $400,000 might miss all or most of the season outweighed the potential reward of having the previous year's best hitter? Not buying it for a second.
   21. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4672343)
And another was that he'd have to miss a big chunk of the upcoming season for his trial.

It still doesn't explain why no team moved to sign Bonds during or just after that year's All-Star Break, when it was crystal clear that no trial was going to take place until after the postseason.
   22. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4672344)
@20 / @21 - Spot on.

This was such OBVIOUS collusion. Everything #17 said was being whipped hard by Buddy Steroids and his panicking owners who encouraged the PED use right up until the moment when Barry broke the game.

My feeling is that Bud Steroids still hoped his savior - A-Rod - was clean and did not want Barry topping 800HR's. Or having the record books reflect Barry's video game stat lines.



   23. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4672349)
Assuming that Bonds would have signed for a minimum salary, at the time, the federal investigation was hanging over Bonds' head and one general sentiment was that Bonds serving considerable jail time was a possibility.

And let's not minimize the potential psychological trauma Bonds' teammates could have suffered from the sudden shock of losing a 43-year-old from their lineup.

As noted, the “worry” that someone's left fielder might be led off the field in cuffs in the middle of a pennant race was already dead by the time the season began and the courtroom calendar was obvious. Anyhow, the trial wasn't even a consideration a few months later, when Bonds' agent publicly announced that he would accept a prorated minimum salary, and contacted several teams to personally convey this offer.

Third, there were reports that his knees were all but shot and while nobody doubted he could still hit, some doubted whether he could play other than DH.

The Cleveland Indians' main DH in 2008 was Travis Hafner (69 OPS+). Their primary DH as they entered September was David Dellucci (89 OPS+). The Oakland A’s are traditionally leery of signing bargain-basement sluggers at the end of their careers. They relied on Jack Cust down the homestretch. (He actually did okay, but come on, Jack Cust.) The Detroit Tigers' primary DH in 2008 was the clean-living, strong-kneed prospect Gary Sheffield (90 OPS+).

But all of those teams were well out of the pennant race. How about the Twins?

The 2008 Minnesota Twins had Delmon Young in left, and Jason Kubel at DH. Young hit 4 HRs in August and 2 in September. Kubel hit 3 and 3. In the month of September 2008, Minnesota pinch hitters and defensive replacements hit 6 singles and 3 doubles in 38 at-bats, with 7 walks, 11 strikeouts, and 3 RBI. The Twins fell into a tie for the division lead on the last day of the season, and lost the one-game playoff.
   24. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4672352)
It still doesn't explain why no team moved to sign Bonds during or just after that year's All-Star Break, when it was crystal clear that no trial was going to take place until after the postseason.


The Rays being an obvious one. First of all, rather than sign Bonds for the league minimum to DH, they gave $2.7 mil to 35 year old Cliff Floyd, who, the previous 2 years amassed a 94 OPS+ while missing 120 games. Then, when Floyd predictably fell apart ( he would play only 80 games, missing most of April, and big chunks of May, June, and July), and the Rays found themselves in a pennant race for the first time, they turned to Johnny Gomes, Eric Hinske, and Rocco Baldelli. In the WS game one, which they lost by 1 run, they used utility outfielder Willy Aybar at DH.

Or the A's. They started the year with no DH (well, they had one, they just played him in LF). Then they picked up the corpse of Frank Thomas, who had just been released by Toronto after batting a 72 OPS+.

Or the Mariners, who imfamously used Jose Vidro at DH (to the tune of a 65 OPS+).



   25. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4672355)
Amen #23 & 24. Let me repeat myself. The man had an OBP of .480 in almost 500 PA's.
   26. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4672359)
One mustn't forget the 2008 Mets, who had already decided to go into the season with a 55-year-old left fielder. But when that plan went awry, they cycled through a parade of palookas including signing the late Trot Nixon, and giving Fernando Tatis his 5th through 75th career games in the outfield. Twelve left fielders came and went, but perhaps internally the front office considered Bonds a very strong Option M.

The team's powerful bench of Marlon Anderson, Endy Chavez, Chris Aguila, Angel Pagan and Nick Evans (coincidentally, all of them were Met left fielders in 2008, too!) helped keep the team atop the NL East alllllmost until the last day of the season [see also: 2007]. Anyhow, at least Met fans got to enjoy good ol' Damion Easley or clubhouse favorite Luis Castillo pinch hitting at the plate with the game and season on the line, instead of the surly, glowering face of Barry Bonds. We can only hope that Bud Selig properly rewarded Mets ownership with a "Thank you so much... no, seriously, thanks a lot."
   27. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4672362)
#24 should say utility infielder Willy Aybar. It's probably too much to say not signing Bonds might have cost the Rays a title, since they lost the series 4-1, but 3 of those losses were by 1 run, and in 2 of them Aybar was the DH or only PH used. Maybe with Bonds at DH they win game one and at least bring the series back home.

And what did they have to lose? Here is a low budget team that had never done anything remotely interesting in their history, and instead of signing Bonds, they gave 6X more money to Cliff "freakin" Floyd. When you sign Cliff Floyd, you are absolutely prohibited from using the "well, he might not make it through the whole season" excuse for not signing Bonds ( and floyd went down for 6 weeks in game 5). And this is a team which a few years earlier gave a job to Jose Canseco. No one will ever make me believe that the Rays, who never met a low cost bargain they didn't like, on their own thought giving Cliff Floyd $2.7 mil was a better idea than giving Barry Bonds $400,000.
   28. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4672363)
We can only hope that Bud Selig properly rewarded Mets ownership with a "Thank you so much... no, seriously, thanks a lot."

Bud subsequently allowed the Wilpons to keep the ballclub even though Bernie had liberated all of their wealth.
   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4672364)
Has there ever been an explanation that there wasn't a single team that was willing to sign him for a minimum salary?

It isn't that complicated. They simply figured that Bonds's baggage wasn't worth the agra. Obviously it was a shortsighted and self-defeating decision from many different angles, but outside of San Francisco it wouldn't have been a popular signing, and it's not exactly news that baseball owners are extremely PR-conscious when it comes to anything but jacking up their prices.
   30. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4672368)
I always looked at it from the other direction.


Why would baseball owners risk the damages that come from a collusion finding simply to put one guy out of uniform a few years early?

Obviously, it's possible, but it just struck me as a terribly risky action with no upside.

   31. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4672369)
They simply figured that Bonds's baggage wasn't worth the agra. Obviously it was a shortsighted and self-defeating decision from many different angles, but outside of San Francisco it wouldn't have been a popular signing, and it's not exactly news that baseball owners are extremely PR-conscious when it comes to anything but jacking up their prices.


I'll admit that's a possibility, but IMO, not the most likely one. Take once again the rays example. What was there for them to lose? Prior to 2008, they had never finished anywhere but last, had never lost fewer than 90 games, and were coming off a season of a pitiful 1.3 million attendance. If nothing else, maybe more people come to the park to boo him. And to top it off, he would have cost $2.3 mil less than the DH they did sign.
   32. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4672370)
Why would baseball owners risk the damages that come from a collusion finding simply to put one guy out of uniform a few years early?


I think you're overstating the risk. IIRC, collusion carries triple damages. So let's say an arbitrator decides an unencumbered 43 year old Bonds would have gotten $12 million, that's just a little over $1 mil per club. That could easily have been seen as well worth the risk.
   33. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4672373)

I think you're overstating the risk. IIRC, collusion carries triple damages. So let's say an arbitrator decides an unencumbered 43 year old Bonds would have gotten $12 million, that's just a little over $1 mil per club. That could easily have been seen as well worth the risk.


Even if you're right (I didn't get the impression at the time that the potential damages would be so small, but I really have no idea), there's still no upside for the owners.

I understand colluding to keep salaries down - there's a tangible benefit to the owners if you don't get caught. I just don't know in what way baseball's owners benefited from putting one unpopular guy on the unemployment line.
   34. Swedish Chef Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4672374)
I don't see how collusion could work in this case, because what if an owner wanted to sign Bonds? He could have done it and there would be nothing the cabal could have done about without being exposed. If there are no effective sanctions then it can only work if it's unnecessary and nobody actually wants to sign Bonds. Collusion against a whole class of FA is easier, it can be policed by ###-for-tat, if someone overbids, they are fair game for overbidding,

EDIT: That censoring is rather prudish of the nanny...
   35. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4672377)
Barry Bonds must surely wonder who the #### Bill Madden is and why he has a hard-on for convicted felon Pete Rose.


Barry Bonds was convicted for evading a question. Pete Rose was convicted for evading taxes. Only one of these merited a mention.
   36. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4672378)
Teams didn't want a 43-year-old controversy magnet on trial for steroid-related felonies, and didn't want to spend their season talking about steroid-related felonies.

What a shock.
   37. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4672380)
The funny thing about collusion is that it requires proof--evidence of some sort. Unlike the collusion of the 1980s, there wasn't any tangible proof that owners colluded against Bonds, who as stated above was under federal investigation at the time.
   38. Morty Causa Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4672385)
That's not what Bonds was convicted of. In fact, that, literally, is not a crime. That's an interpretation of the legal meaning (or meaninglessness) of what he did, an interpretation most advantageous to him--and, per the jury, it's not the only one, nor one that is absolutely mandated.
   39. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4672395)
Yeah. Why would an owner want to win? Lord knows a World Series appearance or title is terrible PR.
   40. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4672404)
The funny thing about collusion is that it requires proof--evidence of some sort. Unlike the collusion of the 1980s, there wasn't any tangible proof that owners colluded against Bonds

There's no tangible anything, yet. Bonds' legal appeal is still creeping its way through the courts.

However, from October 2008: The baseball players' union says it has found evidence teams acted in concert against signing Barry Bonds but it reached an agreement with the commissioner's office to delay the filing of any grievance... "Our investigation revealed a violation of the Basic Agreement."

When (or whether) we ever see this grieved is still an open question, as is the outcome. It still seems like unusually declarative language from the union.
   41. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4672406)
I still have yet to hear a good explanation from any of the Quadruple Bs as to how a guy who was secretly banned from baseball can now be coaching for a team during spring training.

Oh yeah, that's right, how could I have forgotten: the evil Bud Seligula is so nefarious and conniving that he has temporarily lifted the secret ban in order to try and help cover up his wicked tracks in anticipation of that collusion lawsuit that is going to come any day now.
   42. Sunday silence Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4672421)
wasnt Bonds knee in some sort of deteriorating condition at that point and he was missing tons of games?
   43. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4672431)
@41- Seriously?

Can Bonds be the best hitter in baseball and add to the record books as special instructor?
   44. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4672433)
wasnt Bonds knee in some sort of deteriorating condition at that point and he was missing tons of games?


he played 126 and 130 games his last 2 years. And has been brought up before, teams chose to employ a 35 year old cliff Floyd (who played 80 games), a 41 YO Moises Alou (who played 15), a 40 YO frank Thomas (who played 71), a 40 YO Matt Stairs, Jose Vidro!! (85 games), and Jack Cust at either LF or DH. If injury or ineffectiveness were a concern at all, they sure had odd choices for plan B.
   45. Sunday silence Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4672438)
I guess you're right, the game logs showhe played much of July/Aug 07 then they sat him down the last two weeks in sept, in a 7 for 37 streak; nothing to get alarmed about I guess.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4672440)
They simply figured that Bonds's baggage wasn't worth the agra. Obviously it was a shortsighted and self-defeating decision from many different angles, but outside of San Francisco it wouldn't have been a popular signing, and it's not exactly news that baseball owners are extremely PR-conscious when it comes to anything but jacking up their prices.

I'll admit that's a possibility, but IMO, not the most likely one. Take once again the rays example. What was there for them to lose? Prior to 2008, they had never finished anywhere but last, had never lost fewer than 90 games, and were coming off a season of a pitiful 1.3 million attendance. If nothing else, maybe more people come to the park to boo him. And to top it off, he would have cost $2.3 mil less than the DH they did sign.


That might be the way that a rational owner might look at it, but when it comes to steroids and rationality there hasn't been much evidence of it on anyone's part. The only common thread that runs throughout the entire era is an unwillingness on the part of the owners to rock the boat in any direction. First they looked the other way while some of the biggest names in the game were juicing under their watch. And then when public opinion turned against the juicers, they were then equally as unlikely to stand out against the crowd and leave room for any sort of redemption, if they feared any sort of backlash. As long as you had that sort of lemming mindset going on, collusion would have been superfluous.
   47. EddieA Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4672441)
they sat him down the last two weeks in sept


Not really, he hurt his toe trying to rob a home run in San Diego. They had about a 6 inch indentation at the bottom of the fence and his foot got caught in that space.

signing the late Trot Nixon


Well, I just wasted some time looking to see if I had missed the news.
   48. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4672442)
signing the late Trot Nixon

Well, I just wasted some time looking to see if I had missed the news.


I was referring to Trot's condition in 2008, not 2014. Full apologies for making you a collateral scorn victim.

If it's any consolation, the amount of time you wasted was only slightly more than Nixon spent playing LF for the Mets.
   49. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4672446)
I can't just assume collusion given all the factors at play

he'd have to miss a big chunk of the upcoming season for his trial

It isn't that complicated. They simply figured that Bonds's baggage wasn't worth the agra.

Teams...didn't want to spend their season talking about steroid-related felonies.

there wasn't any tangible proof that owners colluded against Bonds

how [can] a guy who was secretly banned from baseball... now be coaching for a team during spring training

As long as you had that sort of lemming mindset going on, collusion would have been superfluous



This makes me want to slash my throat with Occam's Razor.
   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4672449)
This makes me want to slash my throat with Occam's Razor.

The Occam's Razor explanation is the indictment for multiple felonies and the 43 years old.
   51. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4672454)
The 43 years old part is all but meaningless when the 42 year old version put up 3.4 WAR in less than 500 PA.
   52. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4672460)
The Occam's Razor explanation is the indictment for multiple felonies and the 43 years old.

Can you believe that this guy seriously believes that his lunatic conspiracy theory with no evidence whatsoever supporting it is actually the simplest explanation?

Keep on talking Gonfa-loon; you're doing an outstanding job of convincing everyone. Meanwhile, someone call the nice men with the butterfly nets.
   53. base ball chick Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4672464)
barry lamar was not "banned"
it is more than obvious that owners decided to keep him out because they thought it would get rid of the steroid talk so bud could pretend that baseball was once again "pure"

the - oh, the court stuff would be a "distraction" is bullspit - hasn't bothered owners before or since

the he's 43/he's finished/he's old - theory makes zero sense. if he had been named, say, sean casey, then teams woulda been falling all OVAH him to at least DH
   54. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4672471)
The Occam's Razor explanation is the indictment for multiple felonies and the 43 years old.

I'll see your multiple felonies and 43 years old, and raise you a 169 OPS+ and $195,000 for half a year (with Bonds donating that to charity).

Can you believe that this guy seriously believes that his lunatic conspiracy theory with no evidence whatsoever supporting it is actually the simplest explanation?

Michael Weiner said explicitly that the union had discovered evidence, when he didn't need to be that emphatic. But that was probably just the first warning sign of his brain tumor.

Joey being sure there's nothing to the accusation is the most encouraging piece of legal news Barry Bonds has gotten in years.
   55. Lassus Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4672477)
I'll see your multiple felonies and 43 years old, and raise you a 169 OPS+ and $195,000 for half a year (with Bonds donating that to charity).

I'll risk chastisement from Gonfalon - we're already estranged over Bloom County! - by saying that I really think human psychology and impossibility of conspiracy makes this reason above less convincing.

The owners not only don't all like each other, not all of them like Selig. And some of them are insane - see the McCourts. Herding all of them together on this issue when one of them could a.) make more money or b.) annoy someone else is simply not compelling to me, personally. Secondly, in this day and age 30 of them actively agreeing - and many many of them do nothing without multiple advisors, which ups the number considerably - and having nothing come up at that point or since is simply not as convincing to me as "Ugh, I simply refuse to deal with this" said 30 times in varying degrees.
   56. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4672478)
And they're doing a hell of a job of keeping that evidence secret for five and a half years now.

Meanwhile, we'll all just keep sitting here and holding our breaths, just waiting for it to all eventually come out, dipshitt.
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4672480)

30 teams independently decided that the risk of guy making $400,000 might miss all or most of the season outweighed the potential reward of having the previous year's best hitter? Not buying it for a second.


I think it was independently decided by the teams not to sign him. For all the birthers/truthers/JFK conspiracy people out there, what team would have signed him? I can only speculate on St Louis, but there is no way the team would have signed him, the fan backlash would have been too great, that it just wouldn't have been worth the headache. As someone pointed out, his defense was non-existent at that point in time(Manny like) so that means that 16 NL teams weren't going to sign him. In the AL, I imagine that a non-contender like the Royals might have thought about it, just because people would pay to boo the signing, although it might not be worth the loss of goodwill(in the Royals case though, not sure there is much goodwill remaining towards the franchise)


There were probably less than 6 teams that would have been able to rationalize the signing. And when they saw that the rest of the people weren't attempting, they probably just followed the herd. I think it was bs that he didn't sign, but I don't think the league actively told people not to sign him.
   58. Mark Armour Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4672482)
Bonds was a great player and the victim of selective scorn/hatred, and I wish he were in the Hall of Fame.

That all said, I absolutely did NOT want my team to sign him when he was available after 2007. It would have turned my enjoyable hobby of rooting for these strangers into a rant-filled circus. Would my team have been better? Who cares? -- I am trying to have fun here, and that would have been the opposite of fun. Is this fair to Bonds -- again, who cares?

I have no idea if my team considered this, but thank God they decided to stay away. Glad Bonds is back in the game.


   59. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4672484)
Exactly. No team was willing to turn its 2008 season into the daily Barry Circus -- an entirely understandable perspective. It's hard to get more high-maintenance than 2008 Barry Bonds would have been. Dude made Liza Minnelli or Babs Streisand seem like just folks.
   60. Lassus Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4672487)
Thank you, Mark and CFB, for offering me better linkage than Joey and SBB. Oy.
   61. cardsfanboy Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4672489)
Realistically the A's probably could have and should have signed him.... it's close enough to San Francisco that the same fanbase that was willing to forgive him would have been theirs also.... beyond that, I don't think any team wanted the headache.
   62. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4672494)
This Christmas, Joey, I promise to send you a new insult word.

I'll risk chastisement from Gonfalon - we're already estranged over Bloom County!
...The owners not only don't all like each other, not all of them like Selig. And some of them are insane - see the McCourts. Herding all of them together on this issue when one of them could a.) make more money or b.) annoy someone else is simply not compelling to me, personally. In this day and age 30 of them actively agreeing - and many many of them do nothing without multiple advisors, which ups the number considerably - and having nothing come up at that point or since is simply not as convincing to me as "Ugh, I simply refuse to deal with this" said 30 times in varying degrees.


That the owners can't agree on anything except that there were fifty or sixty better "25th man" options in 2008 than Barry Bonds is an argument for a silent blackballing, not against it. For 2011, Matt Stairs was 43 and was coming off a 6-HR season in which he hit the DL for a knee injury. The Nats paid him $850,000.

I wouldn't bet on there being recorded minutes from a secret league meeting held inside Ted Williams' frozen Fortress of Solitude helpfully labelled "Operation Stop BB." But it wouldn't surprise me if Bonds' agent was contacting teams with an irresistible offer (that he knew would be resisted) because doing so was part of a corroborative strategy.

Also, sorry about "Bloom County." Berke Breathed's popularity, now there's a conspiracy.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: March 16, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4672495)
That the owners can't agree on anything except that there were fifty or sixty better "25th man" options in 2008 than Barry Bonds is an argument for a silent blackballing, not against it. For 2011, Matt Stairs was 43 and was coming off a 6-HR season in which he hit the DL for a knee injury. The Nats paid him $850,000.


The choice was a guy that was going to guarantee a massive fan backlash against the team, AND a potential of not even playing on the team... or making another move. Add into the fact that his defense was slipping and there was a huge question mark on whether or not he would be even capable of playing in the field. I don't think there was a league wide conspiracy, I don't even see the motivation for that, but I do think each team independently decided it wasn't worth it. If anything the fans should sue the team for "breach of contract" for not attempting to field the best team. Especially considering the rumor cost of Bonds.




(note I'm not serious about that breach of contract for those lawyers out there, it's just to express who should be upset about the lack of the signing and where the blame should go)
   64. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4672500)
The choice was a guy that was going to guarantee a massive fan backlash against the team, AND a potential of not even playing on the team... or making another move. Add into the fact that his defense was slipping and there was a huge question mark on whether or not he would be even capable of playing in the field.

Manny Ramirez signed with the Texas Rangers this past July.
   65. cardsfanboy Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4672513)
Manny Ramirez signed with the Texas Rangers this past July.


Manny isn't as hated, add in another few years of acceptance and add in testing policy in place, so you have the argument of "paid his time."
   66. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4672517)
"Massive fan backlash"… YAWN.

This is just laughable. Something tells me even Cardsfawnboy would have come around when Barry was getting on base in half his PA's in front of Albert. Then again, Skip did put up a 103 OPS in left that season.
   67. Bob Tufts Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4672519)
his defense was slipping and there was a huge question mark on whether or not he would be even capable of playing in the field.


Trying to do a Derek Jeter thread hijack?
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4672523)
This is just laughable. Something tells me even Cardsfawnboy would have come around when Barry was getting on base in half his PA's in front of Albert. Then again, Skip did put up a 103 OPS in left that season.


I absolutely believe if he would have signed with a team, that a good portion of the fanbase would have come around. Doesn't mean that I think the owners would have thought that.


Personally I wouldn't have cared if the Cardinals signed him. I don't have a negative opinion on roid usage.
   69. Bob Tufts Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4672525)
and......I last one comment before realizing the error of my ways in returning here.

Bye!
   70. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4672526)
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you just wrote this sentence - "The choice was a guy that was going to guarantee a massive fan backlash against the team…" But then I saw you just wrote this sentence - "I absolutely believe if he would have signed with a team, that a good portion of the fan base would have come around."

This is my point, you really aren't smarter than the owners, who I'm sure also realized this and still decided to blackball him.

And actually, I bet you would have loved to have Barry on the '08 team.
   71. Zach Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4672527)
I think once the Giants decided they were done with Bonds, there were few teams in the league who would be willing to sign him.

1) Notorious jerk of nearly 20 years standing, the son of another notorious jerk who never really calmed down.
2) Huge legal problems / fan backlash / media scrutiny.
3) Terrible influence / role model for young players. (As a GM, do you want your best young players to act like Bonds?)
4) No matter how good he is, he's on his way out of the league.

As I see it, the best you can do is a draw -- the performance is worth the headache. The worst you can do is a yearlong circus, followed by several years of headlines about "Ex Royal/A/Diamondback Barry Bonds."
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4672533)
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you just wrote this sentence - "The choice was a guy that was going to guarantee a massive fan backlash against the team…" But then I saw you just wrote this sentence - "I absolutely believe if he would have signed with a team, that a good portion of the fan base would have come around."

This is my point, you really aren't smarter than the owners, who I'm sure also realized this and still decided to blackball him.

And actually, I bet you would have loved to have Barry on the '08 team.


When have I ever said I would have a problem with him being on the team? I know reading is complicated for you, and the ability to see multiple viewpoints is completely beyond you, but my comments were a reflection of my opinion of what I thought the owners/GM's might have been thinking. It had no bearing on what I would have done or thought.

1. I do not think there was a conspiracy being perpetrated by MLB to keep Bonds out. (as a general rule, any and nearly all conspiracy concepts are just silly)
2. I think that each team independently justified to themselves not to sign Bonds.
3. I personally think that any team which would have signed him, would have found out that after a few weeks into the season, if Bonds has any success at all, that a large portion of their fanbase would accept him.
3a. I think the owners thought that 3. was unlikely. (again I think it was likely)
4. I would have been happy with Bonds on the team. I also know that I would have to keep my mouth shut about that whenever I talked to anyone out and about in St Louis.

   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4672550)
I'll risk chastisement from Gonfalon - we're already estranged over Bloom County!

Wait, who doesn't like Bloom County? Impossible! Breathed's not in the Cartoonists' HoF, but he's definitely in the HoVG.

On this issue there is no debate! And no intelligent person can think differently.
   74. toratoratora Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4672587)
I tend to be highly skeptical of the owners in general, but I don't think there was a conspiracy here.I also don't think it was fan backlash so much as media backlash that kept the owners away.

I don't really blame the teams either. This was one of those deals where the cost would have outweighed the reward. Signing Barry would have made everything all Barry, all the time, for the signing team. It would have made their season into a freaking nightmare and a traveling circus. Each new town would have renewed the focus and the controversy until everybody but the press was sick to death of the story.
Had there been no risk of a major media firestorm, I suspect a number of teams would have been willing to sign him, the A's most of all (The Bay Area being the one place BB would have received a softer landing).
Of course, more than a little of that baggage can be laid at Barry's feet so he's not entirely a victim here
   75. Lassus Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4672592)
and......I last one comment before realizing the error of my ways in returning here.
Bye!


Er, what did we do?
   76. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4672600)
72 - 4. Until of course "a good portion of the fan base came around".

   77. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4672623)
4. Until of course "a good portion of the fan base came around".


A good portion doesn't mean majority or vocal...

I'm very much against the anti-steroid witch hunters, but I also know that they are the vocal people in this conversation. When you talk to random people you have to accept that the ones who are willing to get in a conversation will more than likely be the "vocal" people. (I have no clue about your life, but my initial impression of you, is that you are Ray like, and have never actually been in a conversation with real people....so you might have missed out on the nuances of real human beings. When you get into a random ass sports talk you have a group of people who just don't care as long as the local team is doing good, you have a faction that will fault everything that the local team is doing, and you have sycophants...these are the people that isn't worth having a discussion with. If you want a real conversation you want people who don't have a ray's robot autistic like tendency to see things in only black/white colors, and instead on people who have an actual functioning brain. These are going to be people who will love the team but are willing to criticize or defend them while acknowledging no perfection from them, drawback is too many of them are still caught up in the anti-steroid hysteria that they aren't worthy of the time either.)
   78. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 07:24 AM (#4672641)
Wait a second, I missed a Bloom County thread?
   79. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4672655)
Bloom County had its moments. Everything else he did was crap though.
   80. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4672665)
I admire the fact that Breathed was willing to shut down the strip that made him famous when he no longer felt suitably enthusiastic about the material. That's what Watterson did with Calvin & Hobbes after all. It was unfortunate that Burke's subsequent efforts seemed so lazy and half-assed, to the point where I'd routinely see jokes in "Opus" recycled from old Bloom County strips. I'm sorry, but the scandal associated with having a tattoo of Dan Fogelberg is much worse than the one involving Dubya Bush.
   81. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4672671)
Bloom County had its moments. Everything else he did was crap though.
It was unfortunate that Burke's subsequent efforts seemed so lazy and half-assed


He wrote a children's book that was quite lauded, but as I don't really care about such things I can't really remember the name of it.
   82. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4672676)
I know he did some artwork for the movie "Secondhand Lions" (which I quite like), and wrote the book that turned into the Disney feature "Mars Needs Moms" which I've never seen but heard was lousy.

(Edit: Yikes, I looked up "Mars Needs Moms" on Wikipedia: "Mars Needs Moms was a commercial failure and has the worst box-office reception for a Disney-branded film. It earned only $1,725,000 on its first day, for a weekend total of $6,825,000.This was the 12th worst opening ever for a film playing in 3000+ theaters.")
   83. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4672679)
YR, you left out the part where "Mars Needs Moms" cost $150 million to make. It lost more than $100 million, and is one of the biggest flops of all time.
   84. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4672703)
Er, what did we do?

My guess is that he's just generally sick of all the bullcrap, just like the numerous other baseball fans who have left the site in recent years.

And it's not too hard to understand why, because it truly is endless. The loons are still spouting the same garbage John Brattain was obsessively writing about six years ago. Most normal people can only take so much.
   85. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4672738)
@77 - You should simply admit, you talk from your arse.

And tell me genius - What does "a good portion" mean? I mean it's just pathetic, you're entire circle game of nothingness, all to make you seem like you know something. And then the inevitable stupid, child-like attack on this stranger. It is pathetic. Happy St. Pat's.
   86. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4672742)
YR, you left out the part where "Mars Needs Moms" cost $150 million to make. It lost more than $100 million, and is one of the biggest flops of all time.

None of which is actually Breathed's fault, let's be clear.
   87. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4672752)
I'm very much against the anti-steroid witch hunters, but I also know that they are the vocal people in this conversation. When you talk to random people you have to accept that the ones who are willing to get in a conversation will more than likely be the "vocal" people. (I have no clue about your life, but my initial impression of you, is that you are Ray like, and have never actually been in a conversation with real people....so you might have missed out on the nuances of real human beings. When you get into a random ass sports talk you have a group of people who just don't care as long as the local team is doing good, you have a faction that will fault everything that the local team is doing, and you have sycophants...these are the people that isn't worth having a discussion with. If you want a real conversation you want people who don't have a ray's robot autistic like tendency to see things in only black/white colors, and instead on people who have an actual functioning brain. These are going to be people who will love the team but are willing to criticize or defend them while acknowledging no perfection from them, drawback is too many of them are still caught up in the anti-steroid hysteria that they aren't worthy of the time either.)

Since I've been labeled more than once as being an "anti-steroid witch hunter", you may not like this, but I agree with what you're saying here, and also with the first 3 points you made in #72. (The 4th point was only about your personal preference, and it's irrelevant to the other 3.)
   88. cardsfanboy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4672790)
Since I've been labeled more than once as being an "anti-steroid witch hunter", you may not like this, but I agree with what you're saying here, and also with the first 3 points you made in #72. (The 4th point was only about your personal preference, and it's irrelevant to the other 3.)


I'm still trying to figure why people have such a hard time with your anti-steroid stance, considering that everything I've read posted by you in the past year and a half or longer has been entirely reasonable. (I may not agree with it, but it's not the knee jerk reactionary articles you get from the Simmons, Simers, etc. and the untalented hacks that write for a living)




   89. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4672814)
I'm still trying to figure why people have such a hard time with your anti-steroid stance, considering that everything I've read posted by you in the past year and a half or longer has been entirely reasonable. (I may not agree with it, but it's not the knee jerk reactionary articles you get from the Simmons, Simers, etc. and the untalented hacks that write for a living)

Not that I ever really got involved, but when all of this discussion started, I assumed Andy was part and parcel of the Union. It took me quite some time to figure out the difference. So for that, Andy, I'll take this opportunity to apologize. Although I don't think I ever took any action based on that, my perceptions were not what they should have been.
   90. toratoratora Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4672946)
72 - 4. Until of course "a good portion of the fan base came around".

My whole point was that I think that owners didn't stay away because of worry re the fan base, it was the media attention that scared them off.
Win and fans accept almost anything.
The national media? Not so much.

The media wouldn't have let up all year long. Even if you win over the locals, every road trip, every town, the Bonds frenzy would have begun anew.
Not to mention the spot pieces from the National media. Picture all this gatekeeper of morality nonsense and hollow righteousness stuff that constantly is harped on and then imagine Bonds as an active player, the focal point for all the anti-steroid zealots. The whole thing smells like a debacle in the making.
It would have turned the entire season into a Bonds spectacle,and no organization wants to deal with that.
   91. Karl from NY Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4672972)
I thought the Bonds blackballing in 2008 came from Selig strongly pressuring everybody to not sign him. Collusion is only illegal between two or more clubs; there's no rule against MLB discouraging them from signing a player. MLB probably couldn't actually enforce a blackballing, but didn't need to.
   92. Booey Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4673046)
I'm still trying to figure why people have such a hard time with your anti-steroid stance, considering that everything I've read posted by you in the past year and a half or longer has been entirely reasonable. (I may not agree with it, but it's not the knee jerk reactionary articles you get from the Simmons, Simers, etc. and the untalented hacks that write for a living)


Agreed. With many of the anti-steroid hardliners - including those in the BBWAA who publish their ballots - it's pretty clear from their comments that revenge against the dirty cheaters who offended them is their primary motivation for withholding votes (real or hypothetical), rather than any of the "integrity", "fair play" or "upholding the standards of the HOF" excuses they actually use. Andy is different, IMO. His explanations always seem genuine to me.
   93. Downtown Bookie Posted: March 17, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4673085)
You can be sure no one was more repulsed by Bonds’ appearance in the Giants camp than commissioner Bud Selig.


I just wanted to say that, if this is true, than it's all worth it.

DB
   94. zenbitz Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4673125)
Maybe Bonds can follow Selig as Commissioner?

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