We’ve known David Price and the Red Sox had a deal in place for several days now, but it only became official as of this afternoon. That’s when Price’s physical came back hunky dory and the team made the formal announcement of the signing. If this was, say, 1950, today may have been the first day you would have heard about it. Thank God we don’t live in 1950 anymore.
Apart from the press conference quotes — and you know how those go; everyone wants to win a championship; money had little to do with all of this, etc. etc. — the only thing left to know is what uniform number Price will be wearing. He’s always worn 14 in the past, but it’s retired for Jim Rice.* So Price went with something with an equally-rich history in Boston:
You may remember that number from Dwight Evans. Or, if you’re too young for Dewey, Manny Ramirez. Each of whom were Hall of Fame-worthy, I might add. Evans was wrongfully jobbed of the honor because Hall of Fame voters are dumb. Ramirez jobbed himself out of it, one presumes, due to his PED use. Either way: both were Boston Red Sox greats and now Price joins them in 24-ness.
I assume some people will have a problem with him wearing 24. As a guy who is on record hating that the Tigers let other people wear Alan Trammell’s number 3 and Lou Whitaker’s number 1, I can certainly sympathize. But the Sox don’t retire numbers absent a Hall of Fame induction. Even if the Hall of Fame totally blew it on the would-be inductees. So here we are.
Say what you will about Barry Bonds — and there’s a lot to say for bad and for good — but the real question presented by his hiring by the Miami Marlins is whether or not he’s going to be worth a diddly durn as a coach. And we really won’t know until he gets into Marlins camp and guys either start responding to his instruction or, well, don’t.
But we do know that he may have particular insight into one of his charges. Veteran Ichiro Suzuki is still on the Marlins and Barry Bonds, perhaps more than anyone, is familiar with his approach.
Don’t believe me? Watch this video — supplied by regular commenter Ren — and watch Bonds’ mastery of Japanese baseball. Particularly at the 2:15 mark, when he decides to handle the challenge placed before him by going Full Ichiro:
In other news, after watching that video I have some ideas about how to draw new fans into the game. I’ll be writing an email to Rob Manfred and various trampoline companies if anyone needs me.
Barry’s Back! The Marlins make Bonds their new hitting coach
With the exception of some brief spring training guest-coaching, Bonds has been out of baseball since his involuntary retirement following the 2007 season. Since then he’s been involved in protracted criminal proceedings stemming from his grand jury testimony in the BALCO investigation and has seemingly remade his life in the Bay Area.
Now the home run king will coach the Marlins. The previous hitting coach, Frank Menechino, will remain on as assistant hitting coach. One suspects that, as with most two-coach situations, the titles are somewhat fluid and, in reality, Bonds will work with some hitters, Menechino others. One may also speculate that Bonds preferred the title of hitting coach over assistant.
Either way, perhaps the greatest hitter of the past half century will now be trying to impart his hitting wisdom to a team which was second to worst offensively in the National League in 2015. And, perhaps more significantly, Bonds’ long time in baseball’s wilderness has ended.