Independent and Minor League baseball teams are constantly searching for the "draw" - that season-long hook that will undeniably pack the seats with fans anxious to see someone or something. It's easy to have a "draw" for one game (like when the Armada sent starting pitcher Jose Canseco to the mound in 2006), but finding the lightening rod who can bring that energy to the ballpark every single night is much rarer. I think Ricky Henderson served that role for the San Diego Surf Dawgs in 2005, but there hasn't been anyone of that Hall of Fame caliber in the GBL since.
And now there's a rumor that intertwines Barry Bonds and the Long Beach Armada. The LA Times reported yesterday that Bonds - who says he hasn't "retired" - and his agent are still looking for a job for the all-time homerun king. And while his agent says that Bonds "shouldn't have to" play for the Armada just to prove to big-league clubs that he can still get it done, it doesn't necessarily mean it's out of the question.
Bonds would be that "draw", that hook fans would absolutely undeniably turn out in droves to see at the Blair Field for as long as Bonds put on an Armada jersey. Don't get me wrong, Jose Lima and Hideki Irabu are big signings for the organization. But they play once every five days and combined don't have a fraction of the clout that Barry Bonds has. No one in baseball does outside of possibly Alex Rodriguez as a result of a book that has him thrown under a bus. But with Bonds, it would be a frenzy.
The team's Assistant GM is already trying to figure out the process of roping off extra lockers and moving a recliner into the club house ... just in case.
So while the LA Times has our club reportedly sailing on without Barry Bonds, I would hope it's something that Mr. 762 would at least consider. Whether you love Bonds or absolutely hate him, it's undeniable that you'd come out to see him. And if he autographed your kid's baseball or cap, you'd love it.
So I guess there is just one question...
Will Mr. 762 join the team in (562)?