Rafael Palmeiro Is Making a Dumb Dallas Sports Year Even Dumber

Rafael Palmeiro took a swing during spring training in 2005, the year he should've quit baseball for good.
Rafael Palmeiro took a swing during spring training in 2005, the year he should've quit baseball for good. Ed Brown
Let's look at the ways Dallas sports have sucked in 2018.

The year started with a Cowboys-free NFL playoffs in January. The Mavericks have been historically bad, and the Stars missed the playoffs after a hot start thanks to going 4-13 in March. Southern Methodist University missed the NCAA Tournament entirely after its first-round flame-out in 2017, and Jordan Spieth's comeback came up two strokes short Sunday at the Masters.

The 2018 Rangers have been the worst of the bunch. After a walk-off win Wednesday afternoon against the Tigers, the Rangers sit at 15-24, already 8.5 games back of the American League West leading Houston Astros. Their season, effectively, is over. While there are a few things to watch for that could make things a little more tolerable, like the inevitable promotion of No. 1 prospect Willie Calhoun from Triple A, there is one story just coming over the horizon this week that should add some stupidity to the misery.

Former Rangers great Rafael Palmeiro is going to play baseball again, following through on threats he made this winter about attempting a comeback.

Palmeiro, 53, and his 28-year-old son, Patrick, signed with the Cleburne Railroaders on Wednesday afternoon. Both Palmeiros hope to use the independent minor league team to jump-start trips, or trips back, to Major League Baseball.

“I’m actually excited about the opportunity to get back on the field again,” Rafael Palmeiro said. “I’ve been working really hard to get ready for this, but I’m especially excited to get to do this with my son Patrick. I’m excited to have the opportunity to play with him and have fun and see what happens.”

In January, when Palmeiro first announced his plan to get back on a big league roster, he couldn't even get a meeting with a big league club. There's a reason for that.

During his last two seasons as a pro in 2004 and 2005, Palmeiro was a scrub, barely cracking replacement level in 2004 and finishing as worse than replacement level in 2005. In August 2005, the league suspended Palmeiro for 10 games after he tested positive for steroids, a punishment that was especially embarrassing considering his emphatic denial to a congressional committee that he'd ever used performance enhancers.

Palmeiro can't do this, but he really believes he can.

“There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it,” he told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal in January. “I’ve taken care of myself really well. I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”

The Rangers, out of the race and with nothing left to do but evaluate young players, have no reason to sign Palmeiro. Palmeiro, who retired as one of four players to hit 500 home runs and collect 3,000 hits, has no reason to return, having made more than $89 million during his career.

There is no reason for any of this to happen, or to watch it, except the schadenfreude that will come with a broken-down steroid user desperately clinging to his last non-chance or the fervor that will kick up on the worst parts of Rangers Twitter to give him a shot if he hits a couple of home runs. 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young