Ok, honestly, the last time I remember even seeing Rafael Palmeiro was on the field at an Oakland Athletics game. They were playing the Texas Rangers and I was watching batting practice after finishing my pre-game responsibilities as a tv intern.
That was circa. 2003. I remember thinking then that Rafael Palmeiro looked old, like older than my dad. He wasn’t of course, but he may as well have been. He seemed creepy to me then and the latest news about him freaks me out a bit, even now.
At 53 years old, having not played in a MLB game in 13 years and having dropped off of the Hall of Fame ballot after only four years, after receiving just 12.6 percent of the vote, there is talk Palmeiro wants to make a comeback.
A comeback at 53 is virtually impossible. Especially considering the way Palmeiro left the game a pariah due to PED use and suspensions, why would he even want to step back into the public eye?
Seriously, everyone had, for the most part, finally forgotten about the disgraced slugger who would have been a lock for the Hall of Fame with his 3,020 hits and 569 home runs save for the fact that he faced lengthy suspensions due to the use of performance enhancing drugs.
To this day Palmeiro maintains his innocence and feels that this idea to make a comeback may validate his innocence, thus changing the narrative that now defines his career. That is IF he can hit again.
Palmeiro says that he’s in great shape and that his body can withstand a long baseball season but according to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal, Palmeiro “does not sound willing to take any sort of indirect path to the majors.” Meaning he would not be one to consider a minor league stint proving he can hit, prior to being brought up to the majors.
Tbh, it’s been so long since I can remember even hearing his name I am truly baffled by this out of the blue pretty much unattainable decision.
Only six players have played over the age of 50 and only two of them – Minnie Minoso and Nick Altrock made more than one appearance. Even the likes of Jamie Moyer and Julio Franco, both of whom are known for their lengthy baseball careers, didn’t make it past the ripe old age of 49.
So how does a former alleged PED user, who is over a half a century old, suddenly get in good enough shape to do what now one has really ever done before?
I surely don’t know (unless it involves PEDs! Kidding, well kind of!) and it freaks me out a bit. He used to creep me out 13 years ago.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean that teams wouldn’t be intrigued. Baltimore’s (which happens to be the last team he played for) general manager Dan Duquette did say this week that it would be an “interesting story.”
With him now attempting a comeback at this age, even if it is an attempt to prove his innocence, it will likely end up being either extremely insane or rather comical. Either way, I’m not sure it would be a good thing for him or for the game.
Plus, when it really comes down to it? I think it’s really just creepy and weird. Just like the Rafael Palmeiro I remember.