It's been a huge month for Barry Bonds. Most importantly of course, he got to meet Rinku and Dinesh. Then after that was over, the players union declared that baseball owners had colluded to keep him out of baseball for 2008, and have decided to file a grievance.
As Ray Ratto of the SF Chronicle notes, collusion is an elusive thing to prove, but come on. They probably did it.
Again, we remind you that collusion without a paper trail is hard to prove, and one would have to think the owners had the good sense not to leave their notes lying around. Plus, we don't even know if there were notes taken, or that collusion actually happened at all. Maybe this was one time when they let their mutual self-interests find their own level without manipulating the result.
Then again, they colluded last time (and still deny that they did, the weasels), and it cost them more than a quarter-billion dollars when a quarter-billion was really worth a quarter-billion. You remember what a quarter-billion feels like, right, kids?
So here's rooting for the union on this one, not because we care whether Bonds pockets one last hunk of change from MLB, but because we haven't seen a carotid artery pound out "Rocket 88" in time, and we can tell that it wouldn't take much to get Bowtie Billy's neck to perform. Losing a million bucks or so for actively not doing something wrong ought to be sufficiently amusing.
That last paragraph alludes to Giants exec Bill Neukom, a man Ratto seems to hold in esteem just above his bookie. He rightly points out that any collusion case, really shouldn't find the Giants guilty because, well, they released him in the first place. Not wanting a guy on your team isn't illegal, and you very well can't pick him back up right after you release him.
Do I think the owner's colluded to keep Bonds out of baseball? I think it's likely. Most bloggers and mainstream writers have one piece in their portfolio that reads, "____ should sign Barry Bonds." It's hard to believe every single one of them could have been wrong.