How is it possible for the best hitter (Barry Bonds) in the National League in 2007 to be unable to find a job with any team in Major League Baseball in 2008? How is it possible for the greatest hitter in the history of Major League Baseball (Barry Bonds), after being the best hitter in the National League in 2007, to be unable to get a job with any team in Major League Baseball in 2008?
Here's my computed Run Production Averages (RPA) for the top 26 hitters in Major League baseball in the 2007 season (minimum 400 computed plate appearances, as per RPA method). My method shows the season adjusted value of each plate appearance in terms of the runs produced by that batter per the RPA formula that I previously described in my annual player rating books:
Alex Rodriguez: .205
Carlos Pena: .205
Barry Bonds: .204
Chipper Jones: .197
David Ortiz: .194
David Wright: .190
Jack Cust: .185
Ryan Braun: .183
Prince Fielder: .176
Jim Thome: .176
Magglio Ordonez: .175
Curtis Granderson: .175
Mark Teixeira: .174
Hanley Ramirez: .173
Adam Dunn: .171
Chase Utley: .171
Rickie Weeks: .171
Grady Sizemore: .170
Albert Pujols: .169
Tell me just one team that doesn't have room on their 25-man roster for the greatest hitter in MLB history. Barry Bonds has not been convicted of anything. He has not been accused of betting on games or throwing games. Barry Bonds has not been accused of assaulting anyone. Barry Bonds has been accused of not telling the truth to a Grand Jury investigating BALCO. Barry Bonds does not own BALCO and does not distribute steroids on behalf of BALCO. Why was the Grand Jury investigating Barry Bonds? How did that "investigation" of BALCO turn into a witch-hunt directed against MLB players?
What "immediate danger" to Major League Baseball does Barry Bonds pose, that requires Barry Bonds' exile prior to a decision in Bonds'upcoming trial? Wouldn't the presence of Barry Bonds on a Major League Baseball team roster be an immediate big boost to that team's attendance as well as a big boost to their chances of winning?
MLB teams are willing to lose money rather than hire Barry Bonds. Isn't that the definition of a blacklist? The actors, singers, directors, and others who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era witchhunt were money makers for the entertainment industry, yet no owner would hire them. Isn't that exactly what is happening with Barry Bonds? Years later, many of those blacklisted were apologized to, but did that apology make up for the destruction of their livelihoods and their personal lives? Of course not!
Years from now, when Major League Baseball is forced to apologize to Barry Bonds, that apology will never make up for the crime that Major League Baseball is inflicting today on Barry Bonds and on the many fans who admire the athletic greatness that Barry Bonds has been as a player. I admire Bonds for his unbending, "in your face" attitude, as he's endured under this constant attack from the big business media, especially the sports talk radio and cable channels that have to fill 24-hours of air time by creating controversy and scandal.
I appeal to the fans of Major League Baseball to bombard their team owners with letters and emails and petitions demanding that their team hire Barry Bonds.
An historic wrong is being committed by the owners. Do we want to have a posthumous apology to Barry Bonds, as was done for Jim Thorpe, or do we correct this wrong NOW? Barry Bonds is this era's Babe Ruth. He's the biggest star in our national pastime!
I appeal to the fans to help us right this wrong. I want to see Barry Bonds playing baseball in 2008.
Mike Gimbel is a former consultant on player evaluation for the Boston Red Sox and the Montreal Expos.