- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2008

If you were general manager of a contending team, would you consider signing Barry Bonds for the stretch run?

MARK ZUCKERMAN: Nope. I know Bonds is still capable of being a productive offensive player, but to me it’s just not worth the PR hit you surely would take for signing the most controversial player in big league history. Think about all the negative attention that would come with Bonds joining your team. It would become a major distraction and could ruin whatever clubhouse chemistry you have built up. He might hit a few homers and draw a few walks, but he’s not a full-time player anymore, and the sideshow that would accompany him everywhere he went simply isn’t worth any positives he might bring to your team.

BEN GOESSLING: I know it would be bad PR, but history has shown just how forgiving the public can be once you win. Granted, this would be the ultimate test of that theory, but wouldn’t he make a good DH for a team like Tampa Bay? And though I’m not sure how well it would play image-wise, my hometown team, the Twins, desperately could use a bat — especially one that could launch a few balls above that Hefty bag 327 feet down the right-field line. All I’m saying is, if you win a World Series with him, even not necessarily because of him, it might work. Whether anyone will take the risk is another question.

MZ: Can you make it through one week without mentioning your beloved Twins? Barry Bonds is as likely to wind up in Minnesota as the Metrodome is likely to have its roof removed. Seriously, can you really see some team out there taking a chance signing the guy? If it worked and he won the World Series, it would be hailed as genius. But anything short of that and the GM would be looking for a new job this winter.

BG: Hey, I think it was you who brought them up last week. And I don’t think they actually would do it — they’re not exactly known for splashy moves — but it could be tempting. You know the risks going in, but if you can handle him for two months in the clubhouse, I would think about it. I actually would be more concerned with that than the PR backlash. As many people as you would lose for trying it, you would have some coming out to the ballpark out of curiosity. Bonds isn’t universally hated, just polarizing. If there’s a place for guys like Ron Artest and Pacman Jones (or is it Adam now?) in other sports, Bonds can fit in with a baseball team that has enough to gain and an owner supportive enough of risk-taking. Too bad the place where he would fit best already has a suspected steroid user in its lineup.

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