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Let’s talk about Rafael Palmeiro

Because there is little else to talk about. Do you think an offseason can kill you? I have a lot of questions. Send answers and help to Say Hey, Baseball.

Baltimore Orioles vs Kansas City Royals - May 17, 2005 Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

At the prime age of 53, Rafael Palmeiro is ready for a comeback. Maybe you recall the tweet he posted a few weeks back on Jan 5. “Good to be back in the cage again. The comeback is real,” he wrote. It was not a joke, and I definitely did not cringe. It was very earnest and from someone who has obviously never learned the golden rule of never tweet. It was all fun and games until there was no longer plausible denial that he didn’t just learn what trolling was from a teenage nephew.

His swing looks like you’d expect: One that is powered alone by the muscle memory that comes with 19 years in the big leagues but is weighed down by at least 50 pounds of time. Palmeiro accumulated exactly 70.00 fWAR in his career, enough to put him closer to the top of leaderboards than most other players. He played with the Cubs, then the Rangers, then the Orioles, then the Rangers, then the Orioles -- obviously no stranger to going back to where he’s been. His worth was in his swing, as is the case with many who are accused of using PEDs.

He says he regrets his infamous indignant testimony he gave to Congress, fervently claiming his innocence at the advice of counsel. He tested positive for PEDs weeks later. I’m not here to pass judgment on what impact that should have on his, uh, comeback. I’m just… kind of wondering what he’s doing.

The thing is, though, that Palmeiro wouldn’t even be the oldest to touch the Major League level if by the grace of Clayton Kershaw he were to defy all odds. He’d fall on the list of oldest position players at only fifth. That list is topped by 58-year-old Charley O’Leary, whose FanGraphs page at first glance makes his story look similar to Palmeiro’s. O’Leary played for the Detroit Tigers from 1904 to 1914 but has one lone plate appearance to his career in 1934 with the St. Louis Browns. But O’Leary didn’t come back to relive his glory days to try to shake out a midlife crisis. He was the Browns’ coach and only stepped in in a pinch.

Essentially, the question is why. And also, please stop. I don’t know. Maybe the Mets will sign him.

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