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The Friday Random Crazy Idea

Sometimes, a bizarre and unique confluence of circumstances combines to produce an instant of enlightenment that cannot be duplicated.  

A combination of factors set the stage, including Barry Bonds's chase of Babe Ruth, Doug Gillett's Friday Random Ten, and the fact that I had occasion to drive southbound on I-75 past Hank Aaron's car dealership in Henry County earlier today.  

Together, these disparate elements coalesced to form . . . the Friday Random Crazy Idea.  

How crazy?  This crazy!

Naturally, I cannot guarantee that this will become a regular feature here at Dawg Sports.  It is in the nature of the Friday Random Crazy Idea that, well, it occurs to me at random, so who can say whether another nutty notion will pop into my noggin exactly one week hence?  Take it while you can get it, in other words.  

Here is the Friday Random Crazy Idea that occurred to me today:  

If I were the owner of whichever American League baseball franchise it is that features the worst combination of low attendance and poor won-lost record, I would invite Hank Aaron to become my team's designated hitter.  

From a marketing angle, it would be like something Bill Veeck would pull.  People would come to the ballpark to see Aaron bat, if only for the novelty of it, so it would boost attendance.  

Like that, only with the ability to hit for power.

Yes, Hammerin' Hank is getting on in years now, but that's why this would only work in the American League, where he could serve as a D.H. for a losing team.  He wouldn't have to play the field, he probably wouldn't cost you many games, and, even if he did, so what?  You're out of the pennant race already, anyway.  

Beyond that, there are these facts:  overexpansion has diluted the pool of quality pitchers, the ball is juiced, and the fences are closer in than they were in Aaron's day.  No, he couldn't blast 30 dingers a season, but I bet he'd be good for 12 or 15 jacks a year.  

Why does this matter?  Because Barry Bonds's body isn't going to let him keep playing for much longer and he's only 40-odd homers shy of the major league record.  

Just as Bobby Bowden continues coaching because he doesn't want to give Joe Paterno the chance to overtake him as major college football's winningest sideline stalker, Hank Aaron should come out of retirement to protect the record by padding his lead.  

Bonds probably won't get to 756 this season, but he likely will reach that milestone if he plays this season and next.  If Aaron could tack on another 13 home runs to bring the high water mark to 768, though, Bonds would have that much more lost ground to make up before his ailments force him into retirement.  

The only way to beat Barry Bonds with a baseball bat and not go to jail for it.

It's repugnant enough to think of Babe Ruth, the poster boy for performance-reducing substances, being overtaken by this surly chemically-altered freak, but wouldn't you rather have a class act like Henry Aaron hang onto the top spot rather than see it go to the man who is quite simply the embodiment of everything bad about professional sports?  

Otherwise, we may have to learn to live with the idea of Barry Bonds as the national pastime's all-time home run leader . . . at least until Bud Selig's successor decides it's in the best interests of the game for him to order opposing pitchers to serve up gopher balls to the active player with the highest home run tally until he breaks Bonds's record, that is.  (Hey, a record attained that way wouldn't be any more artificially achieved than Barry's.)  

That's the Friday Random Crazy Idea for May 19:  Hank Aaron should become a designated hitter for a lousy American League team.  How crazy is that?  

Go 'Dawgs!