Back in 2007, Barry Bonds had a .480 on-base percentage in 126 games. He swatted 28 dingers and scored 75 runs. He even stole five bases. He was ... not good ... in the field, but that's okay, because there was a crazy rule that 14 teams got to have a player who did nothing but hit. No one signed him. Apparently, no one wanted to deal with the media circus.
Unless they were being told by someone craggly and powerful not to sign Bonds. Jon Heyman reports that Bonds is filing a grievance against MLB. The original report used the term "lawsuit," which would have been even better. "You dance for me now, legal system! Dance!" But a grievance will do.
Marc Normandin brings up a good point in his daily newsletter -- won't you subscribe today? -- reminding us that Bud Selig and MLB were so determined to get Alex Rodriguez suspended, they paid $150,000 for stolen documents. After the controversy of the home run record, it is totally plausible to think someone powerful might have floated the idea that any team who continually employed Bonds would get on Selig's bad side. Someone craggly and powerful.
On the other hand, it's also plausible to think that all 30 teams looked at Bonds and thought, I ain't dealin' with that crap. Owners might not have wanted to deal with it. GMs might have worried about clubhouse chemistry and increased scrutiny. I honestly don't know which way Occam's Razor slices on this one, but it really was the height of PED panic back then.
Cut to six years later and the World Series is almost played between two teams who went out of their way to give formerly suspended players millions and millions and millions of dollars. Oh, I'm happy with how the 2014 World Series turned out, but a Jhonny Peralta v. Nelson Cruz matchup would have had a certain elegance to it.
Did Selig tell people he'd be pissed if Bonds signed? I can see it. Proving it is the tricky part, and unless Bonds has someone willing to squawk -- I mean a real songbird, you dig? -- I'm not sure how successful this grievance will be. It just takes one person, though, and #IStandWithBonds and hopefully some sort of justice will be served. If not justice, I will accept revenge. Because this sentence ...
I just don't see how that player with the .480 on-base percentage can help us.
... still makes me twitch. We were robbed of additional Barry Bonds by someone. Those someones need to pay. BRING ME HEADS.