We wouldn’t blame you if you thought Rafael Palmeiro’s declaration that he was planning a comeback was a joke. In December, the former Baltimore Orioles first baseman told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he wanted to play in the majors again. On Friday, the 53-year-old proved he was serious about that pursuit.
Palmeiro posted video of himself taking some hacks in a batting cage. He erased any doubt about his intentions, ending his tweet with “The comeback is real.”
How does the 53-year-old Palmeiro look? You be the judge.
Good to be back in the cage again. The comeback is real. pic.twitter.com/uA8FMjyTjv
— Rafael Palmeiro (@Rafael_Palmeiro) January 5, 2018
Can we determine anything from that? Not really. Those balls weren’t coming in at Aroldis Chapman speed. They weren’t even coming in at end-of-the-road Barry Zito speed. It’s fun to see Palmeiro has the same swing, we can say that much.
In this instance, Palmeiro’s words are far more impactful than the video. He’s going to attempt a comeback … like, for real now. It’s happening.
At first blush, that seems unlikely. Bartolo Colón was the oldest player in the majors last season, and he was only 44. Even the great Julio Franco only lasted until 48.
Age isn’t the only factor here. Palmeiro didn’t exactly leave the game on good terms. He quietly retired after a steroid suspension. His positive test came after Palmeiro wagged his finger under oath at a Congressional hearing and said “I have never used steroids. Period.”
Given all that, it seems unlikely that any team would take a chance on him. But, hey, free agency is unbelievably slow right now. If Palmeiro’s comeback attempt helps us fill time before actual players start signing, we’re all for it.
And if it turns out to be a little more serious than that, we’re ready to see how a 53-year-old would really perform against the flamethrowers of today.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik