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.