Let’s face it, the Marlins are out of the playoff race after only 4 games this season. The team has a decent amount of talent (more than you would think) but they aren’t anywhere close to making the postseason. Come September, why even bother going to a Marlins game? Two words: Barry Bonds. And I don’t mean go watch him coach during BP. That’s right, Barry Bonds should suit up for the Miami Marlins. Hear me out.
The Marlins don’t have a big fan-base. Dating back to 2001 (as far as our data goes) the Marlins have finished in the bottom-5 in average attendance every season except for 2012 when the team moved into their new eye-sore of a stadium. *FUN FACT* When the Marlins won the World Series in 2003, they finished 28th in the Majors in average attendance with 16,290 fans a night, roughly 44% max capacity (only Tampa Bay and the deceased Montreal Expos had worse attendance).
Despite having Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, two of the most exciting players in baseball, people just don’t care about going to Miami games and they definitely won’t care when the team is 12 games back at the beginning of September. Barry Bonds would change that.
*Note – I’m about to call Barry Bonds the all-time Home Run King. Please do not yell at me in the comments section. This is based purely on statistics and nothing else. We’ll save the PED talk for another day.
With the playoffs out of the picture, why not let the all-time home run king suit up again? Despite being 51, Bonds has proven that he can still hit by beating multiple Marlins hitters in a Home Run Derby in Spring Training. It might take him a few swings to catch up to a 98 MPH fastball, but Bonds could probably still hang with most Major League pitching. After all, the guy did have a killer .480 OBP in his final season before he was questionably forced into retirement despite having the desire to still play. *Side note – here is a cool article by Jesse Spector about how every team needed Bonds in 2008.
Since he has proved to the Marlins he can hit, why not show it off to the world? Despite being hated in all US cities outside of San Francisco, Bonds would draw fans from all over. The all-time home run leader coming out of retirement to face Clayton Kershaw in a game that counts? Sign me and every single baseball fan up. With increased attendance and media coverage, the Marlins get exactly what they want, and Bonds will get his.
Barry wants to be in the Hall of Fame. It means something to him. He wants his face on a plaque in Cooperstown and for it to hang for eternity in the same room as his godfather’s (Willie Mays). While he has the numbers, Barry has been denied the Hall of Fame in all 4 years of his eligibility, never garnering more than 44.3% of the vote. He actually gained 8% this previous year, but that was due to the committee being drastically reduced in size. Despite gaining that 8%, Barry actually lost 7 votes.
With the way the trend is going, Bonds will not see the Hall of Fame. This is due to older voters shunning him for allegedly using PEDs (but come on, he totally did). Many younger voters, however, have showed their support for Bonds in recent years and are campaigning for him to get in.
That’s why Barry would come back. Coming out of retirement and playing in a Major League game would reset his Hall of Fame clock. Instead of having 6 more years with older voters who do not want him in the Hall, Barry’s clock would reset and start again in 2021, meaning his last year of eligibility would be 2031, long after the older voters are retired or, you know…
With a slew of new, young voters that grew up idolizing Bonds, it would almost be a guarantee that we’d see Barry in Cooperstown. So why not come back? It’s a win for Miami and a win for Bonds.
What do you think? Do you want to see Bonds come back? Would this crazy idea work? Let us know in the comments section!