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The Conspiracy Against Bonds


Flip217

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If Seattle was rational they would have just stuck Jeff Clement in the DH spot for 500 PAs and been done with it.

Clement only hit .227/.295/.360. Granted small sample size/he raked at Tacoma/etc, but that's still pretty lousy. He should have been starting, but starting at C over Jojhima.

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In addition to that, the effects of media scrutiny were often cited as a reason against signing Bonds, but I doubt there is a place that would have created less of a media firestorm than TB.

Seattle is another team that was a great fit. Obviously not in hindsight, but the Bavasi clearly thought of this as being "their year", and their DH production was absolutely putrid. They used Jose Vidro for most of the year mixed with an amalgam of other thrown together options and got .221/.273/.334 line from their DHs on the season. To get that line out of the DH position is almost staggering incompetence. Add to that their being on the West Coast, and they seem to be a good destination.

I can buy that a team wouldn't have wanted to sign Bonds. But all 30? And at the league minimum? I'm not sure if I buy the collusion story, but I don't buy that GMs were acting rationally here either.

The only problem is that a team signing Bonds, even Tampa before the season, would have pretty high expectations to be willing to take on all the baggage surrounding him.

Don't you think that Bonds as part of that great story in Tampa, or that disaster in Seattle, would have at least some of all of the media attention directed towards him?

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I just don't get what is wrong or against the rules about no teams wanting to sign him? Even if all the teams got together and said, "We don't want to sign him", I still don't understand what there is to file a grievance about.

If they did get together and agree as a whole to actively harm Bonds, it is collusion under antitrust laws.

Just like the late '80s when the owners colluded to lower demand for free agents, and therefore salaries.

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As some have said, money was not the reason he wasn't signed. And I think it's bit much to say he was very likely to collapse as a player. If you think that now, then you were probably thinking it going into 2006 and 2007, but maybe to a lesser degree.

Now I agree that the further along the season went, the more likely his performance would have suffered, but still think he could have come in and been pretty productive at the plate. If I was a GM of certain AL teams, I would have given him a shot.

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As some have said, money was not the reason he wasn't signed. And I think it's bit much to say he was very likely to collapse as a player. If you think that now, then you were probably thinking it going into 2006 and 2007, but maybe to a lesser degree.

Now I agree that the further along the season went, the more likely his performance would have suffered, but still think he could have come in and been pretty productive at the plate. If I was a GM of certain AL teams, I would have given him a shot.

Well, there is the biggest point. On an NL team, Bonds would have been a marginal player. His physical condition would have prevented him from playing every day and would have made him a defensive liability anytime he did play in the field.

NL teams have kept players like that purely as pinch hitters, especially 40 and 50 years ago, when pitching staffs were smaller and benches were deeper. Teams who carry 11-13 pitchers don't really have that luxury, especially if the pinch hitter extraordinaire can't also be an emergency 3rd catcher. Mike Piazza would have been a better choice for that kind of a role than Bonds.

There is also a certain group of hardcore fans who have made it clear in no uncertain terms that they would boycott their team if Bonds was signed. How large that group is and how resolute they'd be if Bonds helped their team reach the World Series is something which is difficult to assess. GMs may well have felt that it wasn't worth the risk.

Some GMs chose to take a stand on principle. Colorado publicly stated that they wouldn't acquire any player who'd been linked to steroids or HGH -- which would apply to players like Jerry Hairston Jr., Larry Bigbie, Ryan Franklin, and Rick Ankiel as well as Barry Bonds.

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If they did get together and agree as a whole to actively harm Bonds, it is collusion under antitrust laws.

Just like the late '80s when the owners colluded to lower demand for free agents, and therefore salaries.

Maybe I just don't understand what is illegal about teams, collectively or not, deciding that they don't want to sign Barry Bonds or any player. Now maybe if they all got together and agreed that no team would sign him for more than $10 or something like that. I just don't see how he has a point. There are plenty of regular Joe's out there who I'm sure would love to play for an MLB team. Does the fact that they aren't getting signed mean that teams are colluding against them? What if Cal Ripken decided he wanted to play again and of course no teams wanted him, does that mean teams are colluding against him?

Besides, I didn't even think he was a member of the player's union. Why would they file a grievance for him?

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30 GMs all looking at the same evidence and coming to the same conclusion--independently--isn't collusion. Sometimes, it's just good decision making.

Yep. Basically Bonds only argument for collusion is that all of the teams got together to defraud him of his legal rights, but even that doesn't make much sense. He doesn't necessarily have any inherent right to play baseball, and they aren't necessarily keeping him from playing baseball...just from playing in MLB.

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Maybe I just don't understand what is illegal about teams, collectively or not, deciding that they don't want to sign Barry Bonds or any player.

The CBA, a contract between MLB and the MLBPA, provides:

"Players shall not act in concert with other players and clubs shall not act in concert with other clubs."

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Yep. Basically Bonds only argument for collusion is that all of the teams got together to defraud him of his legal rights, but even that doesn't make much sense. He doesn't necessarily have any inherent right to play baseball, and they aren't necessarily keeping him from playing baseball...just from playing in MLB.

He has a right to not be blocked from his chosen occupation by a concerted effort by the industry.

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He has a right to not be blocked from his chosen occupation by a concerted effort by the industry.

There's nothing stopping him from playing baseball for a living, just because that job might not come with an MLB team.

We're almost getting to the point where we're saying that a team has to give Barry Bonds a job...and I don't think that's right. Teams have the right to run themselves the way they want to be run. No one wanted to give Jay Gibbons a job, were they colluding against him also?

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There's nothing stopping him from playing baseball for a living, just because that job might not come with an MLB team.

We're almost getting to the point where we're saying that a team has to give Barry Bonds a job...and I don't think that's right. Teams have the right to run themselves the way they want to be run. No one wanted to give Jay Gibbons a job, were they colluding against him also?

You see the difference, I'm sure.

The fact is that no player in the major leagues besides ARod had a higher 2007 OPS than Bonds. Certainly no one can deny that he is (or was, heading into 2008) an elite hitter at the very top echelon of baseball - the type of hitter that it would seem that teams would want to employ.

Of course there were other concerns of varying validity - defense, clubhouse presence, PED usage, media controversy, age - that were and should weighed against his hitting prowess. But given that he was one of the most productive hitters in baseball, it would seem that there would need to be a LOT of negatives for it to make sense not to sign Bonds, at the league minimum no less. That Bonds didn't get a single contract offer should be enough to give someone pause, regardless of which side of the fence you fall on.

That he can still play baseball elsewhere is irrelevant to the discussion. Colluding would violate the terms of the CBA, and is a very serious offense. No one is saying that teams MUST employ Bonds, but if they failed to do so because of collusion, they are in the wrong.

I'm also unsure why it's assumed that he absolutely was restricted to playing in the AL. He couldn't play 1B at all? Was his body that limited that he would be at an absurd risk for injury or that he would be markedly worse at the position than a Ryan Howard or a Prince Fielder? I find that somewhat unlikely.

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Bonds doesn't care that he cheated to be an admired MLB player, but he's crying now because he thinks the league cheated to keep him from playing. Sometimes justice actually happens, and when you see it, you smile. I hope this will be one of those times.

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You see the difference, I'm sure.

The fact is that no player in the major leagues besides ARod had a higher 2007 OPS than Bonds. Certainly no one can deny that he is (or was, heading into 2008) an elite hitter at the very top echelon of baseball - the type of hitter that it would seem that teams would want to employ.

Of course there were other concerns of varying validity - defense, clubhouse presence, PED usage, media controversy, age - that were and should weighed against his hitting prowess. But given that he was one of the most productive hitters in baseball, it would seem that there would need to be a LOT of negatives for it to make sense not to sign Bonds, at the league minimum no less. That Bonds didn't get a single contract offer should be enough to give someone pause, regardless of which side of the fence you fall on.

That he can still play baseball elsewhere is irrelevant to the discussion. Colluding would violate the terms of the CBA, and is a very serious offense. No one is saying that teams MUST employ Bonds, but if they failed to do so because of collusion, they are in the wrong.

No I don't see the difference. No one wanted to give Jay Gibbons a job, was he being colluded against? It's not like Bonds is 30 and coming off of an MVP Award or something...he's like 44 and is most likely going to be serving prison time. Not to mention he's a huge douche bag to anyone who has ever known him.

And I'll ask again, isn't he not even part of the union? Is he even covered under the CBA and should they be filing grievances on his behalf?

Maybe I'm just misinterpreting, but wouldn't all of the teams have to be gaining something by colluding to not sign Bonds? So let's for the sake of argument say that all GMs didn't independently come to the conclusion that it would be a horrible move to sign Bonds and they all colluded together...what exactly are the colluding for? What are they getting out of it? I understand about colluding to keep salaries low, but what exactly are they gaining here? It would be one thing if say Bud Selig was promising all GMs some kind of kickback for not signing Bonds and keeping him out of baseball, but I don't see anything like having happened.

Another example, Kevin Millar probably won't be resigned by the O's and maybe won't get another deal with any team. Does that mean that all of the GMs are colluding against him?

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