The question I am going to write at the end of this paragraph is going to look and feel very strange. At first it may seem like a completely preposterous and insanely stupid thing to even propose. However, the 2008 Cleveland Indians offense is beginning to look like its in the late stages of leukemia and as we all know -- desperate times call for, well, weird-looking questions. So, without further ado: Should the Indians sign Barry Bonds?
Woah, woah -- stop pooping your pants and wildly punching the air in all directions -- I know what you are thinking. When I first thought about Barry Bonds actually becoming a Cleveland Indian it took my brain .000001 seconds to compute "no" as well. Some time passed though (like 10 minutes) and I then vividly pictured something in my head: its an August night in Cleveland -- tie game in the late innings. Barry Bonds steps to the plate with 2 men on. First pitch he sees he hits an absolute bomb into the upper deck of right field. The crowd goes nuts and the Indians win the game.
Now come on, that would be awesome. When things like that happen, no one cares about steroids, locker room fights or contracts. Its irrelevant. Barry Bonds would just be smashing baseballs and making our lineup better as a whole.
Now, there are about four common arguments against the notion of Cleveland (or anyone) signing Barry Bonds: 1.) Money. 2.) How would we use him? 3.) He is a jerk and a clubhouse distraction. 4.) Him and his butt injections are a disgrace to the game and don't belong in a place like Ohio.
The first two are really not that big of a deal. I think we could swing a contract where we get Bonds this season for about as much as we are paying Paul Byrd. As far as how to utilize him, that is something I think Eric Wedge could figure out rather easily. A few suggestions would be to DH him and move Travis Hafner to 1st, then maybe trade Garko. Or we could just throw Bonds out in the field and let him take a shot at not embarrassing himself on a daily basis. Who knows -- the point is I'm sure room can be made for the all-time home run leader one way or another.
The criticism against signing Barry Bonds that gets the most mileage from baseball fans is the distraction component. "Cleveland has such great clubhouse chemistry, why would you want to spoil it by bringing in a world class dickhead like Barry Bonds?" Now, clubhouse chemistry has always seemed a bit overrated to me. I mean, I bet the Pittsburgh Pirates are all a bunch of cool dudes and have a great time with each other -- but they still suck. And really, who cares if he's a jerk -- I would be very disappointed if Grady Sizemore's numbers declined and he blamed it on Barry Bonds. "I would be getting on base more, but Barry Bonds is so mean and he keeps calling me a 'stupid nerd.'" How come every other job in the world can tolerate and function with assholes besides baseball?
And if Bond's attitude is really that much of an issue there are viable solutions. Cleveland could always put a "nice guy clause" in his contract stating the slugger is not permitted to speak aloud and must always have a smile on his face while on Indian's premises. Or better yet, he is only allowed to talk in question form, like on Who's Line is it Anyway. No one, not even Barry Bonds, can sound intimidating if they are smiling and repeatedly asking questions.
The last issue with Bonds is steroids/legal troubles. Sure, Barry Bonds has been branded a corrupt cheater and will be considered one for the rest of his life. He took performance enhancing drugs and clearly benefited from them. All I have to say to this is that we didn't care when Tim Laker did it, why should we now? Alright, that is a completely stupid thing to say, I know. But really, we can act like we're offended by the abuse of steroids in sports all day, but its really just a charade (and another discussion altogether).
If you are still reading this (I don't know why you would be) and are fuming at the idea of Barry Bonds sporting Chief Wahoo, don't worry. We all know Mark Shapiro would never even entertain the idea of calling up Bond's people. Shapiro has too much "class" and "character" and the Indians are "not the kind of team" that would take on a Barry Bonds type.
But why not? Why can't we ever be the kind of team that goes after these guys (the closest we got was acquiring Shawn Kemp)? Barry Bonds still has something to prove in baseball and the Indians could possibly get the steal of the season. I have said it before and I will say it again -- I want a championship in Cleveland, I really don't care how we get it done anymore.
And just admit it -- seeing Barry Bonds pull a ball into the stands at Insurance Company Field would be f'in hot. But who knows, I will probably change my mind about it in another 10 minutes.