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.
California Love: the Padres, Dodgers and Angels are all interested in Chase Utley
ESPN’s Jayson Stark has been all over the Chase Utley beat, reporting last night that the Padres are showing “strong interest” in him. This follows reports from earlier in the week that the Angels and Dodgers are likewise interested. Given that Utley is from Southern California and has voiced an interest in staying in the area, one wonders if some of this isn’t being floated by his people as a means of drumming up a little bidding from the three most geographically-suitable teams for him
Either way, taking a chance on Utley wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. For one thing, he’d likely be pretty cost effective at this point in his career. And, despite his obvious struggles overall in 2015, he did show occasional flashes of competence at times. A week here or there where, if you squinted, you could see something of the Utley of old.
According to Utley, his struggles were due to a bum ankle. If the ankle is better — and if Utley isn’t just blowing smoke about it being the cause of his ineffectiveness — he’d be worth a gamble.