Monday, February 25, 2008

A Possible Return Of Barry Bonds?

Well, I presumed that Barry Bonds might have a new home based on his 2007 season; however, as it is right now, he's without a baseball home and seemingly unemployable due to his drug issues and federal indictment.

However, there's one team that may have interest in the beleaguered slugger -- yes, the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays have recently done what the St. Louis Cardinals did a while back: have internal discussions about the prospect of pursuing Barry Bonds.

Manager Joe Maddon said Monday he knew "little" about what was going on, but acknowledged some thought has been given to the career home run leader.

"A minor discussion was thrown out there a little bit, and it's really not gone any further than that," Maddon said after Monday's workout at the team's spring training facility. "That's all it is right now."

The St. Petersburg Times reported in Monday's editions that team officials have conferred among themselves about Bonds and other veteran unsigned free agents, such as Kenny Lofton and Mike Piazza. Andrew Friedman, Rays vice president of baseball operations, called the report a "non-story."

Furthermore, it looks like the Cardinals were interested, but that idea got vetoed...

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa also had interest in signing Bonds the last two offseasons, but each time the team's front office decided against it.

La Russa, who was looking for a power bat to protect No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols each year, said he was told the asking price for the home run king was too high. This winter, La Russa said he dropped the issue after a discussion with new general manager John Mozeliak.

"It became moot as soon as I raised it and they said no," La Russa said Sunday. "Once it became apparent what the price tag was, I said we just can't, it doesn't make sense for our club."

The Cardinals will likely bat Troy Glaus in the cleanup spot behind Pujols. Glaus was acquired from the Blue Jays for disgruntled Scott Rolen.

Before going to management, La Russa said he polled his coaches on their interest in Bonds. He said some were in favor, some not.

La Russa wanted Bonds for what he could do on the field.

"One reason I would have loved to have had him as a teammate over the many years is his competitiveness, his talent and his work ethic," La Russa said. "This guy, that's some serious work that he does to get himself ready to compete."

Despite Bonds being out a job right now, that may not be the case for long. Considering his numbers during the 2007 season, a team WILL take a chance on him if not only to win. He's close to 3,000 hits, plus with the drama going on his life, the baseball field may be just the solace he needs to produce. If he ends up in the American League -- his numbers may be better and as well it looks like his batting eye is as good as ever.

Also, he could be source of hope to raise in attendance in Tampa Bay and could be a great source for the youngsters on that team (assuming he's now humbled by his experiences the past few months.

I expect him to be a on roster sometime in 2008.

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