Barry Bonds showed up at camp today, and put on a Giants uniform for the first time in seven years. At age 49, he looked good—smaller than in his playing days, but nothing that would be embarrassing if he were in spring training to play. He's here to teach. And he was immediately asked about PEDs.
Mark McGwire copped to taking steroids upon being names Cardinals' hitting coach, so maybe reporters were expecting something similar from Bonds. But for whatever reason (perhaps since this is just a one-week instructor gig, or because he's always hated talking to the media), Bonds wasn't biting. His only comment: "I already went to court. That's where I'll leave it."
Perhaps more will be forthcoming if and when Bonds decides to make coaching a full-time job. He's in the conversation for the greatest hitter of all-time, and there's nothing chemical about that batting eye or that swing. But it's one thing to do, another to teach, and as Bonds said at today's press conference, "I don't even know if I'm good at it."
Bonds was a little more decisive when asked for his thoughts on Cooperstown, and if he deserves to be there.
"I think you guys are adults," said Bonds, asked what he would tell the conflicted BBWAA electorate, who voted 36.7 and 34.2 percent (well short of the necessary 75 percent) in his first two years on the ballot. "I have no advice for you."
But does he feel he belongs?
"Without a doubt," he said, laughing again.
Bonds has stronger support among fans than among writers, but even there he falls short of the 75 percent cutoff. Maybe returning to Giants camp is part of Bonds's image rehab tour, or maybe he just really missed being around baseball. Either way, it's sort of nice to see him again.
Barry Bonds offers much to Giants, but not contrition [CSN Bay Area]