Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
One of the last-standing legal cases involving Barry Bonds has ended after an independent arbitrator has ruled that MLB did not collude against Bonds when he became a free agent following the 2007 season. Bonds believed that MLB owners had a “gentlemen’s agreement” not to sign the slugger following his last season with the Giants.READ MORE: VIDEO: Smash-And-Grab Robbery At Tanforan Mall Jewelry Store
In Bonds final season he led the NL in walks, OBP, and posted a 1.045 OPS. He was basically Joey Votto, who is likely headed to a top-5 NL MVP finish this season. His numbers would certainly warrant a job especially in the American League where he could slot in as a designated hitter. But with Bonds comes a lot of baggage and a media circus that only Alex Rodriguez could rival. That poses another question/argument: If A-Rod was a free agent and not under contract with the Yankees, would any team have offered him a deal?
Bonds was also indicted by a federal grand jury for perjury and obstruction of justice just two weeks after becoming a free agent late in 2007. I’m pretty sure the ‘under indictment’ label is a tough one for owners to look past. After being convicted in 2011, the conviction was eventually overturned in April of this year. Bonds had waited for the acquittal before proceeding with this collusion case, but unlike that case, this one did not go in his favor.READ MORE: CA Drought: Big Sur 'Colorado' Fire Could Be Start Of Year-Round Wildfire Season
As recently as 2010, a then 45-year-old Bonds had said that it was not the time to retire though he has no plans to resume playing. He spent part of 2014 Spring Training with the Giants as a special hitting instructor and with his legal woes behind him, the Giants are expected to discuss a more formal role with Bonds at some point.
With all of the legal stuff out of the way, there’s really only one question remaining with the home run king and that, of course, centers on the Hall of Fame. In three years on the ballot, Bonds’ percentages have gone from 36.2 to 34.7 to 36.8 (needs at least 75%). With his perjury conviction acquitted, the collusion case over, and a possible job within MLB; there could be some voters who soften their stance on Bonds as he appears to have softened his personality a bit since his playing days. But he’ll need more than just ‘some’ voters to do a 180 on him as a double in voting percentage still wouldn’t get him through. Assuming he gets at least 5%, his name will appear on the ballot for seven more years before his fate is then decided by the Veterans Committee. Putting your fate in someone else’s hands is a 50-50 proposition, and based on 2015 alone, Bonds knows that all too well.MORE NEWS: Xfinity Comcast Outage In San Francisco - Bay Area