Barry Bonds haters have unloaded on him for having the temerity to consider filing a collusion grievance.
I am constantly amazed -- though I should not be -- about how eager many people are to defend the rights of billionaires to trample over everyone else.
Fangraphs Nathaniel Grow has an unemotional assessment of how a Barry Bonds collusion grievance would play out. It sounds as if a lot of this will depend on what kind of evidence the MLBPA has come across in the last 7 years...
So if Bonds does choose to file a grievance, he will have to prove
that two or more MLB teams reached an agreement not to sign him for the
2008 season. In contrast, MLB will argue that there was no agreement
among its teams to drive Bonds out of baseball, but instead that each of
its 30 teams individually decided not to offer him a contract, with
each club acting independently of one another.
Notably, the MLBPA has never publicly revealed what sort of evidence
it uncovered back in 2008 relating to MLB’s alleged collusion. It is
possible, for instance, that the union found some sort of memorandum
circulated among MLB teams explicitly stating – or, at least, implicitly
suggesting – that teams should not sign Bonds to a new contract.
Alternatively, the union may instead be planning to rely on more
circumstantial evidence of collusion, emphasizing the mysterious
circumstances surrounding Bonds’ inability to procure an offer for 2008.
Indeed, one would usually expect that the reigning National League
on-base percentage leader would receive at least one contract offer for
the following season, especially after he publicly stated that he was
willing to sign a contract for the league minimum salary.
This is the sort of evidence that helped the MLBPA win its initial
collusion grievance case against MLB back in the 1980s, for example. The
MLBPA alleged that MLB teams had agreed not to compete for the services
of each others’ free agents following the 1985 season. The union’s
allegations were not only based on the fact that only a single free
agent – Carlton Fisk
– had received an offer from a new team that off-season, but also on a
memorandum circulated among MLB teams urging clubs to “exercise more
self-discipline in making their operating decisions and to resist the
temptation to give in to the unreasonable demands of experienced
marginal players.” This evidence ultimately convinced an arbitrator to
rule that the MLB franchises had improperly colluded in violation of the
CBA. (The MLBPA would subsequently win two more grievances for similar collusion by MLB teams following the 1986 and 1987 seasons as well.)
Here's one response to someone who argued that teams didn't want to sign Barry because he was a "clubhouse cancer" --
What does that even mean? “Clubhouse cancer” seems to be something
sportswriters say about players they don’t like. He didn’t get along
with Jeff Kent, apparently. Who did?
The only things I know about Barry Bonds are what I’ve read by
sportswriters. Filtering for that, I really don’t know much about him at