On Wednesday, SI.com's Jon Heyman (well she's a total blam-blam) asked a rather harmless question: "How is that [Scott] Spiezio cops a plea after a DUI incident in which he also allegedly beats up a friend, and he can get a job (with the Braves), but Barry Bonds, who has not pleaded guilty to anything and is an all-time great, remains unemployed? Just asking."
I want to answer the question, because I want to believe someone at SI is personally asking me this question. Makes me feel like a big man.
Indeed, after the Cardinals released Spiezio on news of his DUI hit-and-run, he was signed by Atlanta a month later, then eventually got probation after pleading guilty. And this is relatable to Barry Bonds' situation how? Not all guilty pleas are equal.
First and foremost: Spiezio comes cheap, Bonds does not. And Spiezio was not put on the major league roster right away — he's in Triple-A as we speak, type, and read.
Now, as to why Bonds remains a free agent, well, let's try to explain that one. And to be fair, I'll (mostly) take the steroid cloud out of the picture. He can still hit, and if he played in at least 100 games this year, he could still probably hit 25 home runs. But one of the biggest negatives is that he doesn't have the knees to play in the field anymore, eliminating 16 National League teams from the picture, which leaves 14 American League squads. Do any of them need a DH?
Boston Red Sox: Um, I think they already got one. Ah yes, it's very nice-a. (I told them we already got one!) "Can we see it?" Of course not, you are English.
Cleveland Indians: Them too.
New York Yankees: They're using Hideki Matsui mostly at DH, and he's rather durable. Then again it wouldn't surprise me if they signed him sometime in June, just because that's what they do.
Los Angeles Angels: They have four outfielders (Vladimir Guerrero, Garret Anderson, Torii Hunter, Gary Matthews, Jr.) who rotate as the DH. No need for him in California.
Chicago White Sox: Well, there's Thome.
Detroit Tigers: If there's one person in the league that probably wants to see Barry Bonds play somewhere, it's Gary Sheffield. Unfortunately, he doesn't want Bonds to play for the Tigers, because then Sheffield himself is no longer an everyday player. (Plus, Dave Dombowski may be cradling the shiny, candy-like panic button with a 1-8 start, but come on. Get some relievers first.)
Oakland A's: Unless the price goes down ridiculously cheap at this point, Bonds doesn't fit the fabled mold of "bargain-bin productive veteran" that Billy Beane loves to snag.
Toronto Blue Jays: Barry Bonds is what Frank Thomas would have been if Frank Thomas used steroids. And the Jays are DHing with the untainted one.
Seattle Mariners: This is actually one of the best situations for Bonds, and perhaps for Seattle, since they really don't have a DH. ([echo] Now batting… atting… striking fear into the hearts of the opposing pitcher… itcher… the DESIGNATED HITTER… itter… Jose… VIDRO… idro… idro… idro… idro…) But the Mariners CEO has said unequivocally, "no" to Bonds. Welp, that settles that.
Texas Rangers: If not Seattle, then Texas might be a reasonable fit. Milton Bradley's DHed so far this year, but he could move back to the outfield, replacing an ineffective Marlon Byrd. Thing is, how on earth will President Bush let Bonds on his former team if he can't even throw a first pitch to someone on the Mitchell Report?
Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals: Sure, they're somehow both in first place now, two weeks into the season, but I'm not wholly convinced they'll stay afloat long enough to consider him.
Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins: Yeah, no.
So it pretty much isn't a question of "Why is Nobody Signing Barry Bonds," but "Why Is Seattle Not Signing Barry Bonds?" Well, because they said so. Duh.
Any other questions for me, Mr. Heyman? I got all month.