Sports

The Word: Should The A's go after Bods? Yes

Way in the back of the Oakland Athletics' clubhouse -- behind Rollie Fingers' mustache wax, past Dwayne Murphy's Afro Sheen Blowout Kit and near Mike Gallego's booster seat -- lies an old, crumpled uniform.

The green cap is large enough to cover Half Dome. The No. 25 jersey's gaping neck hole could fit Stomper's elephant head. The trousers could house two California redwoods.

This is the uniform once worn by Mark McGwire, and soon to be donned by Barry Bonds.

Oakland needs Bonds in an A's uniform for many reasons, mainly because the team doesn't have an elite-level power threat to match the Angels' and Rangers' boppers.

What Oakland has is a bunch of decent hitters capable of no more than hitting .270 and driving in 80 runs (see entire roster). Let's face it, Eric Chavez and Bobby Crosby aren't going to develop into Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter; there's a reason Jack Cust wallowed in the minors for nearly a decade; and Mark Ellis and Marco Scutaro have been seen stacking two Gallego booster seats on top of each other for press conferences.

Yes, it would be a terrible PR move to sign Bonds. The guy took steroids, he hates the media and his only safe haven is not the Oakland Coliseum.

But if there's anything we've learned from recent brain-fart transactions, it's that any situation can work for a season. Any player, no matter how despised, has one-year grace period with a new team (Milton Bradley with Oakland, Terrell Owens with Donovan McNabb, Randy Moss with ... well, there are exceptions).

Oakland fans will welcome Bonds because he is still one of the game's best hitters.

Because he falls short of the needed at-bats (largely due to the number of walks he draws), Bonds doesn't appear on season-leaders lists. But his .480 on-base percentage would lead the majors by a landslide, his .565 slugging percentage would place him fifth and his OPS would trail only A-Rod. And when healthy -- which he is more likely to stay as a designated hitter -- Bonds is no worse of a baserunner than Frank Thomas.

So start peeling the M-c-G-W-I-R-E off that cob-webbed rag, because there's a new cheater ... err, slugger in town.

And if the jersey fits, Dan Johnson must sit.

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