Baseball is a funny game.
A game is never over until the last out and anyone can win on any given day.
It is also a very thriving business.
Some owners take their business so serious they do anything to turn a profit. The Florida Marlins are the biggest example in this category.
Some owners do whatever it takes to win no matter how much money is thrown around. This would be the New York Yankees.
Each team goes about their business a different way but each team is trying to build a winner whether for the future or the present. In this business some teams take risks and sign an injury prone player hoping for great returns and an injury-free year. Other teams take aging stars to provide leadership. Some teams take young players in the hopes of developing potential.
But all of these players are generally bought at bargain prices.
There will always be players who get paid way too much and some who do not get the paycheck they deserve.
With all of this money being flaunted at prospects, washouts, walking band-aids, and convicted felons, then why doesn't Barry Bonds have a team?
Some argue that fan backlash prevents an owner from signing Barry Bonds. Whether or not he took steroids is not the question.
Barry Bonds can help any baseball team.
He brings in fans (or enemies), helps teams win ballgames, and draws revenue regardless of salary. Barry wants to play this year.
He may be getting old and will miss a few games due to court dates and rest days, but the man can play.
Last year in 340 AB Bonds had 94 hits. 28 of those hits were home runs. He hit for a respectable .276 AVG. But had an astounding .480 On-Base Percentage and an even more amazing 1.045 OPS (On-Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage).
Only four other players in the National League posted a higher OPS last season: Chipper Jones, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday, and Prince Fielder.
As a Designated Hitter on an American League team he can do damage.
In interviews he has expressed disdain at being a full-time DH. He believes that if he cannot be a service to some team in the outfield then it is time for him to retire.
So Bonds will be signed by a team hurting for some offense with a weak outfield. The alarms sound and the Oakland Athletics are in great position to sign the career home run leader.
Why do Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics make sense for Barry Bonds?
- Location, Location, Location
Oakland is right across the bay from Barry's Glory Days.
The fans of San Francisco still adore Barry.
The Oakland A's signing Bonds would receive the smallest backlash from the fans because Oakland is always looking to one-up San Francisco in every sport. Barry would not have to move and adjust to a new area. He is comfortable in the area and would fit well.
Billy Beane has always coveted Barry Bonds.
In the book, Moneyball, Billy Beane called Barry the best pure hitter in the game today. Billy Beane also knew the Giants would never trade him so he gave up on the idea of acquiring him.
But the fact is that Bonds is the perfect player for a moneyball attitude. He draws plenty of walks (even when not walked intentionally), hits the ball hard, and runs conservatively.
- Chris Denorfia, Ryan Sweeney, Emil Brown, Travis Buck, and Jack Cust
Only one of those guys can be a dangerous player.
Cust has power with the bat, but he has the DH spot filled. Nothing against the rest of these guys, they all can play since they are on MLB rosters and all fit the Moneyball persona in some way, but they just are not Barry Bonds.
Would you rather have Travis Buck in Left Field or Barry Bonds? Imagine you are the GM who would sell more? Who would contribute more? Heck, even in fantasy baseball would you rather have Travis Buck or Barry Bonds?
The outfield of the A's is not a bad group, but there is no star power nor are they exciting.
- Stick it to "The Man"
That man being everyone who says he cannot play anymore.
Anyone who called him a cheater.
The man is the media who often scorns him and he returns the favor.
The man being Giants GM Brian Sabean.
The man being Commissioner Bud Selig.
The man can be anyone Bonds wants it to be. Bonds is now trying to play to prove himself to doubters. Bonds knows he can play and does not doubt himself. You do not doubt yourself and then break home run records.
- To win
The Athletics do not look like the team to beat, but over the past seven to eight years the Athletics still find a way to be competitive regardless of the ragtag roster.
Everyone has picked the Los Angeles Angels or the Seattle Mariners to win the battle out West (I personally have the Angels, but I am biased towards them).
Oakland seems to be in a mix of some sort all the time. And with the gigantic amount of young talent this team could throw together a run and demand a playoff spot.
Bonds gives the young group leadership, poise, and swagger.
- Boost the Hall Of Fame resume
He is already a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, but is still shy of 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBI—plus he could be the only member of the 800 club. He needs 65 more hits and 4 RBI. He is also 89 games away from playing in 1500.
All of the stats are jovial, but 3,000 hits is a big accomplishment in baseball. This solidifies his resume regardless of the steroids.
Now I understand that in order for the Athletics to even attempt to sign him, Bonds would have to take a pay cut and be playing basically for the love of the game.
$2 million is the limit (I think) the Athletics would offer him.
They pride themselves on cheap talent and daring trades. So the push for Bonds would most likely come after a trade or an injury.
Barry Bonds will be wearing number 25 for the Athletics at the end of this year mark my words and take them to Vegas.