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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Who should come to Tampa Bay?



Every time some big-name NFL player becomes available, the first thought around these parts is, "Think the Bucs should go after him?'' Same with the Rays. And, right now, there are plenty of people available. So here's a breakdown of the some of those names and whether the locals should pass on them, or take a chance.

Shaun Alexander: This guy was the MVP in the NFL in 2005. Not that long ago. And he's only 30. But his Alexander body is about 60. He has been banged up and pretty much ineffective the past two seasons. The Seahawks released the running back in order to keep Julius Jones, who lost his starting job in Dallas. So what does that tell you? Besides, don't the Bucs have like 19 running backs on the roster? Now if Alexander was a quarterback ...
Final call: Pass.

Chad Johnson: The Bengals wide receiver, who could be traded, talks too much, whines too much, causes too much Johnson_2 controversy. Know what he does a lot of? Catch passes. He caught 93 last year. In fact, he has caught at least 90 balls in five of the past six years and the one year he didn't, he caught 87. Know how many times Joey Galloway has caught 90 passes in a season over his 13-year career? That would be, uh, never. In fact, only once in the entire history of the Bucs has someone caught more than 90 passes and that was 2001 when Keyshawn Johnson caught 106. Over the past four years, Galloway has been very productive getting into the end zone with 28 touchdowns. Over that same span, Johnson has scored 33 touchdowns. He is still only 30 years old. He can talk all he wants Monday through Saturday as long he shows up Sunday ... and his impressive resume proves that he does just that. And say what you want about his outlandish behavior, he isn't one of the Bengals who has been arrested.
Final call: Take a chance.

Frank Thomas: The Blue Jays just released Thomas, who got off to a slow start after 26 homers with 95 Frank RBIs a season ago. Well, the slow start wasn't the problem. The problem was he acted like a complete baby when benched because he couldn't hit his weight this season. In fact, he was more than 100 points from his weight. The 275-pounder was batting a buck-sixty-seven with 13 strikeouts in 60 at-bats. He even refused to shake his teammates hands after a victory. The Rays got rid of Delmon Young, who actually can play. So why in the world would they pick up a 40-year-old head case who can't? Supposedly the A's are interested in the Big Hurt. Let them have him.
Final call: Pass.

Barry Bonds: The all-time home run king is sitting at home. I know what you're thinking. The Rays Bonds aren't interested in head cases and Bonds is King Head Case. But here's the difference between Bonds and, say, Frank Thomas: Bonds can still play. Last season alone, Bonds numbers were still impressive. Hit hit 28 homers with 66 RBIs in only 340 at-bats. His on-base percentage was .480. (By comparison, Carl Crawford's OBP last season was .355. Heck, Derek Jeter's OBP last season was .388.) In other words, Bonds still is a productive player. He hits homers, drives in runs, gets on base. Think about that. His on-base percentage was .480, meaning he gets on base almost half the time. True, he can't play the outfield. He would have to DH. But I would argue he could come in and still be the best DH not only on the Rays, but in all of baseball. And, what the heck, Bonds would be worth just having around.
Final call: Take a chance.

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:41pm]


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