While Bonds' spring gig inspired the usual debate about his spot in baseball history, the man who hit 762 career home runs used his short return to MLB to say he's a different person than when he stopped playing seven years ago.
But not everything is different. Bonds can still hit baseballs very, very far, even on the cusp of his 50th birthday. Bonds snuck away Sunday and took batting practice out of the public view, and according to Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group, the results were classic Bonds:
With the Giants' longtime left-handed batting practice specialist "Cutter John" Yandle on the mound, Bonds had an extended hitting session out of view of observers on the back field at Scottsdale Stadium.
Yandle, Bonds hit rope after rope and on his last few swings unloaded some massive blasts into the adjoining neighborhood.
"He looked better than he did before," Yandle said. "He's still got the swing down" ...
Then Bonds gave his own assessment of how the hitting session went. Does he still have it?
"Yeah, easy, no worries," he said. "Maybe in about 5-6 more years I'll start to slow down. But today ain't the day."
We know what you're wondering and, no, there's no video of Bonds' BP. We wanted to see too. The good ol' written word will have to suffice on this one, since his BP session wasn't out in the public. You can take Bonds' word too, though we know some people don't trust that too much. He said of his spring training return, "I just couldn't run. But I can still hit, though."
It'll be interesting to see what happens next with Bonds. Giants batters enjoyed their time with him and, PED issues aside, he knows a lot about hitting that could be passed down to this generation of players. But it doesn't sound like a regular coaching gig is in his immediate future. Bonds told Steward that it's hard for him to sit on the sidelines when competitiveness is still inside him.
When you can still hit big-league homers like Bonds can at age 49, that makes sense.
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