The Bonds Question

Posted: August 17, 2008 in Technology and Business
Bobby Bonds, Barry’s dad, was my favorite baseball player growing up.
Turns out Barry went to my high school, even played ball with my brother-in-law.
Those that know him love him.
Those that don’t, well, let’s just say Barry is his own worse enemy.
After the San Francisco Giants let him go last season, I thought for sure the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox — some wealthy, in contention, American league team would pick him up as possibly the best designated hitter ever.
Not only can Barry still hit (28 homeruns and led both leagues in walks in 2007), but can still play the field in a pinch.
And, of course, he guarantees a sell-out crowd night after night, just as he did for years in SF… the chase for #800 — just as the chase for #756 — is simply too irresistible.
But, no one has picked him up — despite many teams actually needing a player like him.
There’s been talk about ownership "collusion"… him being black-balled.  No doubt, with an impending steroids trial in 2009, he’s a hot potato. 
But we’ve always observed — disdainfully — that performance trumps behavior when it comes to professional athletes.  (Watch how many people scramble to pick up Michael Vick next year.)
Could this be the exception?
I thought it actually might be because he was demanding too much — but then I read this:
     "Borris has said that Bonds would play for a pro-rated portion of the minimum salary, and he attempted to contact Friedman this week after Tampa Bay lost Crawford to a right hand injury and Longoria to a broken right wrist."
Wow.  Barry Bonds at the greatest fire-sale for any athlete in the history of sports… and no one will touch him.
Confirms what my friend John Marino used to always say:  What goes around, comes around.
UPDATE (8/20/08):
Come to think about it, why doesn’t the Oakland A’s pick up Bonds? 
This is right up Billy Beane’s — A’s GM and the central character in one of my very favorite business books, Moneyball — alley.  I mean, can you find a bigger inefficiency in the market today? 
Not only in terms of "offensive production per dollar spent," but also butts-in-the-seats:  Bonds would be a major draw… and goodness knows the A’s need a draw.  (Who knows?  Maybe Bonds could help fill two new stadiums in his lifetime.)
After losing something like 18 of their last 20, what do the A’s have to lose?
  1. mike says:

    There is only \’one\’ team that should really step it up and admit their mistake…Bonds Given Hero\’s Welcome at Reunion