In this feature, Bottom of the Fourth checks in with various MLB players to see what they're up to during the off-season. Today we spoke to Dave Kingman, who hit 442 home runs in the major leagues and retired in 1987.
Bottom of the Fourth: Dave, thanks for speaking with us. We've been talking to current players to see what kinds of things they like to do in the off-season, but we were wondering what players used to get up 25, 30 years ago, to see if things have changed much. So, speaking as a retired player, how are off-season regimens different from when you played?
Dave Kingman: What is this?! I'm not retired!!
BotF: Oh, are you coaching now? That's great!
Kingman: No I am not coaching. What is wrong with you? I'm a left-fielder, and I can swing a pretty mean bat.
Bottom of the Fourth: Um... who do you play for? You haven't been in the major leagues in 23 years.
Kingman: I could be in a starting line-up today. Any team would be lucky to have me. But the owners have blackballed me. Just like Barry Bonds, y'know? He could still be a great hitter, but the assholes who run the teams have a "gentleman's agreement" not to give him a contract. Well, if you thought Bonds was the first guy to get secretly banned from the game, you're wrong. It's been going on since 1987, at least. I go to 30 walk-on tryouts every off-season, and I take all those kids to school, and not a whiff of an offer.
BotF: You know, maybe you just can't get a job because you're not very good anymore. By the end of your career you weren't a very good hitter, and now you're SIXTY-ONE. Plus, the owners blackballed Bonds because he was involved in the steroid scandal. What reason do they have to conspire against you?
Kingman: They're racist against my low batting average. Just because a guy hits for a low average doesn't mean he can't be productive!
BotF: That's true, but how is that "racist"? Also, your batting average -
Kingman: THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER
Bottom of the Fourth would like to thank Dave Kingman for his time.