As we pointed out a few days ago, there have now been 64 katrillion gabillion Barry Bonds-to-the-Rays stories. For the most part we have glossed over most of these and don’t feel the need to point you to every article as they all say one of two things: 1) Bonds would make Rays a better team; 2) Rays are crazy to want Bonds.

However we would be remiss if we did not point to a couple of the more ridiculous examples.

From Phil Taylor of SportsIllustrated.com:

The Rays seem to think that Bonds might have a positive influence on their young players. How naive.

Yes. that would be naive. If it were true…When the team got together and listed all of the ‘pros’ for signing Bonds, the list probably included home runs, OBP, more asses in the seats, national media exposure, somebody that can wear the size 8.5 cap that is gathering dust and a shot at the playoffs (not necessarily in that order). We are just guessing at this point, but we are fairly certain that “positive influence on young players” missed the cut.

From Dimitri Burikas of The Phoenix:

Barry “Flaxseed Oil” Bonds sits in his house, unwanted and unemployed by any Major League Baseball team. As if his chronic use and chronic denial of steroids weren’t a cry of insecurity and a superiority complex, he has now shown just how desperate he’s gotten…Barry is negotiating with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

We are not sure how one goes from “the team had internal discussions about Barry Bonds once, a while back and decided it was not worth pursuing” to “Barry is negotiating with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays”, but Burikas must have one hell of a source, considering nobody else has reported that actual negotiations have occurred.

And it took a couple of days but we finally found a writer that gets it. For all the articles that mentioned why Bonds would be good for the Rays and the articles that wrote about why it would be a bad idea, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com is the first we have seen that correctly assessed the situation.

Here’s the only reason Barry Bonds makes any sense in Tampa Bay: .480/.565/1.045. That, of course, is Bonds’ stat line last season as a Giant… But now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s why this can’t possibly happen: The Rays spent their entire offseason trying to weed out the troublemakers (exit Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young) and bringing in veteran role models and mentors (enter Troy Percival and Cliff Floyd). And remember those on-field Joke of the Day sessions and Closest to the Pin golf-shot duels I mentioned in Monday’s edition of Three Strikes? They were all about team-building. And whatever Barry might bring the Rays in baseball attributes, team-building isn’t quite the specialty of his house.

Thank you Jayson Stark. Thank you.

Too much baggage [SI.com]
Quick takes [The Phoenix]
Three Strikes: Wednesday Edition [ESPN]

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7 Comments

  1. Robert Rittner says:

    Notice how by focusing on the actual issue and assessing it clearly his article has increased credibility and power.

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  2. The Professor says:

    If you do a search for "Bonds" on this site, you will see that he is making the same argument that we have made on numerous occasions, prior to and since Topkin's piece.

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  3. JacksonTSmith says:

    I have to say I really enjoy this blog and the way you guys rip journalists who know nothing more about the Rays than their record for the last 10 years. They clearly have no clue what is going on here, and I can only hope that by the end of this season they do. Keep up the good work!

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  4. blogger says:

    Barry Bonds and the Rays are "a match made in .... somewhere.....

    Hey, we had the story nailed down weeks ago on THE BARRY BONDS TRIAL BLOG.

    Go for it Barry readers...

    http://barrybondstrial.blogspot.com/

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  5. Anonymous says:

    if by "nailed down" you really mean you wrote a "not-really-that-funny, satirical post about why Bonds would be perfect for the Rays" then sure, you nailed it.

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  6. Robert Rittner says:

    Yes, Professor, that is precisely my point. He is saying nearly exactly what you have been saying and what I have essentially agreed with although I leave a little more space for argument. The issue is not just how he is saying it but the manner in which he approaches the story which is to evaluate the chances of Bonds signing as opposed to attacking people who break the story, which was the wrong criticism both in substance (as well as tone) and distracting.

    I am sure many people are amused by random venom, but in reality it can only detract from the points a person is making and put the emphasis in the wrong place. Starks' article is effective because it focuses properly. Yours was diffuse, confusing a legitimate argument with a nonsense one.

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  7. Robert Rittner says:

    "theguag (Louisville): Will Bonds play in the major leagues in 2008? What 3 teams would you say are the most likely to sign him?

    Christina Kahrl: I have to think the answer to that is 'yes,' because as Joe rightly noted recently, the guy's an underrated defender as well as a premium hitter. My non-insider picks: the Rays, Padres, and... hrm, how about the White Sox? That'd knock the Cubs off of page one. ;)

    That said, given that Bonds has always been a devoted father--funny how quote-mongers leave that sort of thing out of their narratives--I can't see him leaving the left coast."
    _______________________________
    The above is from Kahrl's BP chat today. I do not agree with her that the Rays are among the three most likely teams to sign Bonds, but it is evidence that some respectable analysts do consider it within the realm of possibility. And I do not think Kahrl tends to be swayed all that much by rampant rumors or media hype.

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