When the Cardinals named Mark McGwire as their hitting coach last offseason it was first met with shock. Then criticism. Then questions. Then McGwire apologized, the season started and all of the media hype sort of just … went away.
Would we see the same reaction if Rafael Palmeiro was suddenly named the Orioles’ hitting coach? Or if a major league team hired Jose Canseco?
How about Barry Bonds?
The former Giants slugger told the Associated Press before Wednesday’s World Series Game 1 that he would love to enter the coaching side of the baseball world and that San Francisco would be an ideal place for his debut.
“I have a gift and sooner or later I have to give it away,” Bonds said. “I have to share it. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity here.”
The post-PED baseball world is filled with a lot of unknowns. McGwire was embraced because he apologized — live, on MLB Network with Bob Costas — and because he opened himself to all questions when reporters came crawling during spring training. Can Bonds do that? He has battled the media since the early days of his playing career and he’s yet to hint at any sort of remorse for cheating the game back in the early 2000s.
Until he apologizes, and until he is able to handle a serious line of questioning, it’s highly doubtful that Bonds will be hired as an instructor anywhere.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.