Baltimore Orioles: A comeback for Rafael Palmeiro?

Desite his PED suspension in 2005, Rafael Palmeiro was always a fan favorite for the Baltiore Oriole. But at 53 years old, most people would agree that his baseball career is behind him. His playing career, at least.

But yesterday it was reported that Palmeiro was considering a comeback. Uh, come again?! Palmeiro last played in the big leagues in 2005, with the Orioles. He of course was suspended for 50 games that August after testing positive for steroids. He was the first high profile player to get dinged in season, this after he wagged his finger at the United States Congress saying he had never (knowingly) used a PED.

But that’s all behind Palmeiro now. He apparently thinks that he can help a team win. And I would agree – as a coach or instructor. Rafael Palmeiro was a great player, and withstanding the PED suspension he was always good to the fans of Baltimore. But he should stay retired.

In short, I think that no matter how good a shape he’s in, a 53-year old at the professional level would embarrass himself. Mind you, this is just my opinion. Admittedly I haven’t seen Palmeiro work out or hit anytime recently. For all I know he in fact is a freak of nature and could do it. I just think that the odds would be so against him that it would make you question if it’s really worth it.

I’ve always said that the great athletes always know when it’s time to go. I would add that they also know that they should stay retired. But obviously several high profile athletes have come back, Michael Jordan being probably the biggest name in the bunch. And I’m talking specifically about the time he was with the Washington Wizards. I’ll stop short of saying that he embarrassed hiself, but he wasn’t “MJ.” (Not going to lie, I bought a ticket to see him play!)

Magic Johnson did the same a couple of times, as have other athletes. Heck, Terrell Owens has claimed that he could still play in the NFL. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be at the top of your field, and then suddenly you’re a part of history. But…is it really worth jeapordizing your career numbers to make a comeback well past your prime?!

There’s a place for Rafael Palmeiro in baseball should he want it. I think he’d make a great hitting instructor. Maybe even a good manager at some point. But for his sake, I hope his playing days remain behind him.

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