We never thought we'd say this but if Barry Bonds isn't in the slammer when spring training ends, the Dodgers ought to give serious thought to signing baseball's all time home run king.

He's cheaper than Manny, throws better than Juan Pierre (anybody does), fields albeit slowly with at least as much intent as Manny. Last year, Bonds was willing to play for anybody for the major league minimum (Manny wants 100 major league minimums).

There's upside on Barry. He would give author/manager Joe Torre so much more to write about. Barry still can do everything Adam Dunn can do (except strike out). Whereas Bobby Abreau's long balls now die on the warning track (particularly in pitcher friendly parks like Chavez Ravine), Bonds can still yank a ball out.

Bonds and Jeff Kent couldn't and cant coexist, but Kent is mercifully now retired. Bonds would be less of a risk to go on the  DL than Nomar Garciaparra, who the  Dodgers continue to have some interest in. Bonds would be a heckuva lot more of a threat as the lefty pinch  hitter than the departed (and forgettable) Mark Sweeney.

The thing is, Barry Bonds WANTS to continue playing. He's a west coast guy. If the Dodgers have learned to put up with Tommy Lasorda's outsized ego, Bonds would be a walk in  the park.

Bonds would help the Dodgers forget Manny Ramirez AND Scott Boras. There are older players still in the big leagues. He's only slightly older than Brad Ausmus who the Dodgers eagerly signed.

Unlike Mssrs. Castro and Luna and Estes and Strickland and Sturtze et al, Dodgers 2009 signees all, there is an outside chance Barry Bonds could actually contribute something to the Dodgers.

There is precedent in Dodgers history. Look back to 1941 when the Dodgers signed more than the normal share of aged veterans - and the Dodgers went to the World Series, which no Dodgers team has since 1988.

Lets face it, Manny Ramirez is likely to feel 'dissed' no matter how much he is able to get.

Barry Bonds would feel glad to be back in harness.

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