Barry Bonds—an alien god who destroyed space-time—is the new Miami Marlins hitting coach, which is a pretty interesting development.
In an interview with MLB.com today, he stressed that the reason he’s with the Marlins is because owner Jeffrey Loria reached out:
That’s why I say [the job with the Marlins] was the only opportunity that presented itself. And that’s the truth. I think the people will read between the lines, I mean. Everyone knows that I love San Francisco. I would never deny that. This is my home. This is my first love. This is the job opportunity that came to me. And this was the only one. And I took it.
What goes left unsaid are two of the reasons the opportunity didn’t present itself sooner: Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice over his BALCO testimony, and had filed a claim against the MLB alleging he wasn’t signed after the 2007 season because of collusion. But earlier this year the obstruction of justice charge was tossed, and an arbitrator ruled against him in the collusion case.
The resolution of Bonds’s legal cases cleared the way for him to take a more active role in baseball, beyond working with individual players like Alex Rodriguez or spending a few days at Giants spring training like he’s done in the past. Remember, his dad was a Major Leaguer and he practically grew up in the clubhouse. Despite his legendary frostiness towards, well, everything and everyone, he’s clearly happy to be back, telling MLB.com he’s “very” excited, and that, “I kind of want to honor my dad for what he did. Honor my godfather [Mays] for what he did.”
But spending a few days a year teaching is very different than being an 162-game hitting coach for an entire team. Bonds confirmed that he only signed a one-year contract, and sounds like he isn’t completely down with the hardships of the job:
I’m going to try it out. Give it my best shot. I’ll see. By about July I might [no longer want to do it]. Who knows? I’ll bring my bike with me [to Spring Training]. I’ll put the word out for any group rides so people can let me know. Hopping on a plane, getting in at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, I don’t know how I’m going to cope with stuff like that. I’m an early riser anyway and I go to bed early. Me being to work at 8 o’clock in the morning, I don’t give a darn about that. But that hotel stuff every single day?
Besides being the greatest hitter alive, Bonds is one of the greatest fielders (eight Gold Gloves) and baserunners (514 stolen bases and the second member of the 40-40 club) alive. But he vowed—while making sure to note that he’s the best fielder and baserunner in the Marlins organization—to stick to hitting:
My job is hitting, and I’m going to stay in my box. I’m not coming out of my box for anything. I’m not going to do anything else. Running, hitting, outfield. I’m probably the best at all of those things there. I think Ichiro might have more hits than me. But other than that, I’m not coming out of my box for anything.
You can check out the full interview at MLB.com.
Photo via AP