It looked to be heading in that direction, but now it’s official: the Marlins have named Barry 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.