The last time that retired Baltimore Orioles Rafael Palmeiro played baseball in the MLB, George W. Bush was the President. But, the four-time All-Star thinks he can come back to play in 2018.
At the age of 53, the former Baltimore Orioles first baseman and designated hitter told Ken Rosenthal that he is certain that he can still make it in the MLB.
And, he’s serious about it. Seriously.
A bit of shame
Palmeiro played for 20 years before he was practically forced out of baseball during the steroid era. In fact, in 2005, when he was with the Orioles, he was suspended for PED use. He was the first MLB player to have suffered this consequence.
Back in Birdland?
Orioles fans should brace themselves because if Palmeiro comes back, he could be a member of Birdland. In an article from ESPN, Dan Duquette appears to have some interest in Palmeiro. He said: “It would be an interesting story. It’s like tying your shoes … If you can hit, then you can hit.”
If he were to join the Orioles, the team would have two generations of Palmeiros in the organization. Preston Palmeiro was signed by the O’s in 2016. He spent 2017 playing for the Delmarva Shorebirds where he hit .253/.319/.399 with 13 home runs and 77 RBIs. How strange would that be?
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The elder Palmeiro continues to claim that he did not use PEDs and he wants to prove it. He said:
"“Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don’t need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, OK, maybe he didn’t do anything intentionally.”"
Something seems fishy
It seems fishy that a many who is about 30 years older than some of the best players in the league would even dream of facing off against them. While it might sell a few tickets, having a 53-year-old baseball player on an MLB team seems more like a sideshow than an elite sporting event. While the game is still the same, the players are not.
Palmeiro has career numbers that could put him in the Hall of Fame, but the PED accusation and suspension have kept him out. He was on the ballot in 2011 through 2014 and is no longer eligible. But, if he played again – his name could return to the ballot.
He is one of a handful of players who has over 3000 hits and 500 home runs. He is 13th on the all-time home-run list with 569 dingers. He is 28th in career hits with 3020. The men above and below him on the list (minus Pete Rose) are all in the Hall of Fame – unless they are still playing.
The Star-Telegram‘s Stefan Stevenson had the perfect headline for Palmeiro’s announcement: “Has Rafael Palmeiro lost his mind?” The answer: yes. Baseball doesn’t need Palmeiro.