His excuse is also about as lame as Sosa's corked "batting practice" bat, though obviously Palmeiro/Tejada is the gold standard since he blamed Sweeney: Thanks for Giants Idol and the positive publicity I got from it Mark, I'll toss you under the bus now...
Some Thoughts I Would Throw Out
On Murph and Mac today on KNBR, Brian Murphy speculated that Aaron was a user of amphetamines too. While I have not seen any rumor about him and the use of greenies, I offer you these interesting facts.
- Aaron is one of a handful of players who were able to keep hitting homers at a high rate into his late 30's.
- Ted Williams, Darrell Evans,and Barry Bonds round out that group, as far as I could find (someone had done research on players with high OPS+ late in their career and I used that group of high achievers to put together this list).
- Not only did they keep on hitting homers, but they also somehow boosted their HR rate as well, on a HR/AB basis.
- I think it is pretty clear that it was the use of amphetamines in WW II by soldiers that led to its use in baseball afterward and we all know that Ted Williams served our country in WW II as well as the Korean War.
- And if Willie Mays was a big user of amphetamines (he served in the army in the early 50's, though I don't think he saw combat), obviously he then endorsed its usage, so it makes me wonder what type of advice he gave his godson, Barry Bonds.
- I would also note that Darrell Evans and Hank Aaron were teammates for a good number of years with the Braves.
Obviously, amphetamine usage did not appear to help Willie Mays at all, he declined about as soon as he entered his late 30's, but everyone's body is obviously different, some get help from drugs and some don't. Plus some continue to function well late in their life and some deteriorate sooner.
My Speculation About Hangup Over Bonds's Contract
According to the Merc, the major hangup is about Bonds's entourage's access to the clubhouse. He apparently feels that since he was able to do it before, why change it now. Obviously, the team does not agree, at least thus far.
Now many fans have been complaining that signing Bonds sends the wrong signal, that it does not show that things are changing. What if this hangup is the signal? What if the Giants make this their line in the sand? Could the Giants just not sign Bonds? That would be a pretty clear message, should it happen (and it would bring out budget back in line with $85M target, I would note). We do have Klesko ready to play LF plus Linden could platoon with him there (though Linden hits RHP better than LHP, go figure since he's a righty). The Giants might pick up another OF vet for backup should the Bonds contract not go through.
Of course, this is just my speculation, I don't know either way. But I thought I would throw it out as food for thought. My guess is that the contract will eventually go through, because Bonds is not going to get a $20M contract from another team, particularly this late in the game. He's going to have to suck it up and bend over. So he won't be humilitated by a low figure contract, but he'll have to bend to get the contract.
Can his ego take that? Don't know, but I assume the call of the green benjamins will get him to sign. He can only sell so many signed bats.
I can only guess how he might take this contract "defeat" on the field during 2007. He needs to play well if he's going to get to Aaron and any other career goals (3000 hits) he might have. However, I can see him being too "tired" to play near the end of the season if he is close to Aaron and ends up short by one or two homers of tying him, seemingly forcing another season to get that record.
I don't know what the Giants would or could do in that case. I don't know that they would want to do another year with him and, after this revelation, Bonds reputation is pretty much in tatters now, so I don't see how any other team would dare sign him up for the 2008 season. His story just gets sadder and sadder.