The other shoe has fallen: no Bonds in 2005

Or at least, he is stating that he does not expect to play in 2005. I suppose we've all feared this would be true, deep down, but it still takes the air out of any hopes for this season that he'll come back, like the calvary, and lead the team into the playoffs.

Now, with the news that Rafael Palmeiro has tested positively for steroids, the question comes up again: did Bonds use steroids? And I guess I'm starting to give up, either I'm worn down by the whole thing or here's someone who defiantly told Congress that he didn't take steroids and get tested positively for it, in the same season!!! What was he thinking??? Palmeiro claims that he made the mistake "after" the hearings. Yeah, right.

My conspiracy theory right now is that Bonds purposefully injured his knee in spring in order to take the pressure and attention off of him. Just bang your knee against a table, hurt it a bit, tear something doing it. Little did he know that there would be complications in the recovery that threatened loss of limb. It would also explain any degradation in performance after he returned to baseball - the injury is a convenient excuse for his stats to decline greatly.

The only way he can redeem himself in my eyes is to have a season in 2006 that is still good, which is as I've written before. Not all-time great like it has been for the past few years, but still a good season for any ballplayer. Then I can feel like there's still reasonable doubt that he didn't use. But if he stinks and take our $20M (yes, fans pay his salary), I just hope he retires and leave the game and enjoy his ill-gotten wealth.

And if this happens and he looks guiltier, I hope the writers make him wait a year or two to get into the Hall of Fame. Or even not give him enough votes so that he drops off the ballot, the veteran committee can vote him in, if they think he deserves it. Because, while he was a sure hall of famer before his stats got ridiculous, this scandal has tainted the record books in a way that it cannot be fixed and perhaps the vets will keep him out because of that.

I would rather let the players decide than the writers because I still cannot believe that players like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron did not get in on unanimous votes in their first year. I don't care what rules that a writer always follow on not voting in a player immediately, any writer who did not see that these players were hall of famers, they are idiots who do not deserve to vote for the Hall of Fame.

If it was up to me, any player who gets 95% of the vote, those 5% who did not include him should either lose their voting privileges (I don't know, permanently or for a period of time) or may be get 1 or 2 of those lifetime (I don't want to go the cliche route and call it three strikes and he's out) but after that he is kicked out. Utterly stupid that they and other players did not make the Hall Of Fame unanimously.

I know that there will be the fear that some will vote for a player even if he didn't believe just so that he avoids the penalty. That's why I give 1 or 2 free passes, so that he/she is relatively free of the compulsion to vote yes. And at the 95% level, I think it is pretty obvious he's a hall of famer and that the writers will be able to recognize that he is a hall of famer and not just vote to avoid penalty.

But there could be unintended consequences, please tell me if there is anything I missed. This is just a work in progress for me.


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