Muscle Sport Magazine

Collusion Against Bonds and Sosa?

Despite Decent Power Numbers in 2007, Suspected Steroid Sluggers Remain on the Sidelines

One is waiting for his day in court, the other for the next World Baseball Classic. Both have Hall of Fame Credentials and are young enough to still be playing. If chicks still dig the long ball, then this pair could still attract a harem full. But Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa haven’t received a sniff since they both became free agents following the 2007 season. And they shouldn’t expect anything to change in the near or far future.

Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record last summer and then was run out of San Francisco, while Sosa made a nice comeback in Texas, hitting 21 home runs and driving in 92 runs in 114 games. But the Dominican slugger was not asked to return and now has said that he intends on retiring after the next WBC, which is scheduled for March of 2009. How the 39 year-old intends on staying in game shape between now and then remains to be seen, but speculation will be running rampart on Sosa going back to his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

It is apparent that the owners do not want to touch either with a 10-foot pole, and although it may be called ‘collusion,’ it is also good business. Bonds attracted a media circus in every city he visited, and the distraction of the home run chase took away from his teammates. The venom from the fans on the road could not have been good for anyone, including Bonds. At 43, his skills have diminished, but he still was able to go .276/28/66 with all the hype in 126 games a year ago. Although he is not viewed as an outfielder at this stage, he could be a dangerous designated hitter for some American League club. The Tampa Bay Rays were said to be interested in Bonds during the spring, but now that they have had a successful first half, they seem to have made the right decision to not sign him.

The ugly specter of steroids looms large over America’s Pastime, and teams want to turn the page. By signing either Bonds or Sosa, the progression to move away from this era will take a step back.

Even if both of them could still hit one out on their worst day.


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