Barry Bonds has made it clear that he wants to play in 2008. Roger Clemens is at spring training with the Houston Astros.
But does this mean both of these players are going to play in '08? 3
Bonds is considered a clubhouse cancer, while Roger has been known to help young players, but are teams willing to take that risk?
First, let's look at Barry Bonds, who many consider to be a problem on any team.
The upside for Bonds is that he gets on base all the time, .480% on base percentage last year, and still has the skills to keep playing. Many baseball insiders see him as a possible signing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Why?
Well the Devil Rays want to put people in the stands, which he would do, and Barry just wants to play again. Seems like a good fit for both...think again. This off season Tampa Bay brought in a few key experienced players and got rid of their problem players and Bonds would be considered both. He would have a hard time working with the younger guys and is never considered approachable for support.
Plus the circus that comes with Bonds may not be worth the offensive numbers he puts up. If not the Devil Rays then who, well all of the American League contenders, which is where Bonds would probably be the best fit, have an everyday DH and a handful of good outfielders. The only other possibility, for Bonds the end up on a contender, is if a team signs Bonds and then trades him to a top team looking to bolster their lineup for the playoffs.
For Roger, it's a little different, he's always been able to work with and tutor the young players...which for any team is the key to success. Roger would also bring people into the ball park, even with the steroid allegations. The negative, Roger may not be able to go a full season any longer and teams won't pay $18 or $20 million for half a season. And the end of last season, when Roger was too hurt to pitch in the playoffs, is still fresh on the minds of general managers.
But for hypothetical purposes, who would you want on your team if you had to choose between the two? Barry or Roger, tough question. I would say Barry, mainly because he would have an impact everyday, whereas Roger would pitch every five days. Roger would also not travel with the team, which would hurt his ability to mesh a clubhouse and work with the young players.
For both Roger and Barry, they want to prove that steroids doesn't improve hand to eye coordination or make you a great pitcher. But at this point, teams are afraid to pull the trigger. Mainly because the price tag for these two is high, but also they may be tied up in legal battles for most of the season. But in my mind, Roger and Barry need the game more then the game needs them.