May 14, 2008
With Barry Bonds currently out of work and teams looking to improve their lot in MLB, the Shunned One's name will undoubtedly be brought up countless times this season. So, each week until Mr. Bonds catches a fulltime ride, the Stew will feature teams that might be able to use his impressive services.
The question will be a simple one: Should your team finally take the plunge and sign the most controversial man in sports? Today's argument comes from Nate Carlisle, a crime reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune and a co-commissioner of the Missouri Sports Writers Rotisserie Baseball League, a fantasy league founded by classmates from the University of Missouri’s student newspaper, The Maneater.
Nate's case for allowing Bonds to ply his trade in the laissez-faire minded West folllows the jump:
Ride out of here, Butch and Sundance.
Billy The Kid, lay down your guns.
The West is ready for a new desperado, and it's Barry Bonds.
That's who the Colorado Rockies should sign if they don't want to resume their place as the National
League's General Custer.
The on-field reasons are clear. Bonds has a 1.162 career OPS at Coors Field. As of Sunday, the Rockies were 11th in the National League for runs scored, trailing both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But who couldn't use Bonds bat? As we've seen before on The Barry Bonds Job Watch, the real Bonds discussion examines whether your team would suffer in the public relations and team chemistry categories.
Those problems would be minimized if the Bonds arrived in Denver. People in the Rocky Mountain states have live-and-let-live attitudes and believe the government should leave them alone and stick to building sewers, roads and armies. There's plenty of opposition out here when the government tries to regulate anything else, whether it's wolves, air or land.
That sentiment can only benefit Bonds and his employer. Bonds won't be confused as a folk hero, but the crowd at Coors Field won't boo out to the Supermax prison, either.
Look at the last great sports scandal to hit the Rocky Mountains. Lots of people here in Utah still believe
the government was playing politics when it twice brought to trial organizers of the 2002 Olympic Games.
If you believed no one was hurt by what what federal prosecutors called bribes to Olympic Committee
members, why would you believe Bonds' steroid use and denials hurt anyone?
Look, Denver is not New York or Los Angeles or even San Francisco. There will be a platoon of reporters to ask Bonds about steroids and the latest filing in his criminal case, but there will not be a brigade once the initial national media crush retreats. It's quite possible that Bonds might find some relative solitude in the thin air.
I can hear shouts in the distance about Bonds having to play that big outfield at Coors, but be quiet. Bonds' bat and OBP should compensate for his defense. Plus, if the Rockies grab him fast, he can be the designated hitter in the interleague games.
As for the other players on the team and how they'd be affected: Every night the Rockies announcers spend one or two at-bats talking about what a great player Matt Holliday is. Clint Hurdle can move him to right field, just to see if he can get the announcers to devote one or two innings to Holliday.
Brad Hawpe and Ryan Spilborghs, who have been playing right field for Colorado, are serviceable, but they
will never be superstars. Trade one of them for another need — Rockies pitching is back to being among
the worst in baseball. — and keep one so Bonds can take some days off and exit for a defensive improvement late in the game.
Yeah, so Bonds might be too much Man With No Name and not enough Roy Rogers, but in the West, people like results.