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Beware of Bonds bearing gifts: Retired slugger wants to coach

Big League Stew

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Like millions of other Americans, former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is unemployed and looking for work.

All right, perhaps Bonds' situation isn't like most folks who find themselves at the mercy of the Great Recession.

But the 46-year-old Bay Area resident does want a job. Not playing — he hasn't swung a bat in a game since 2007.

Bonds, who attended Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night wearing his finest leathers, said he would like to try the way of another contemporary slugger, Mark McGwire, and become a major league hitting coach. To be like Mark, if you will.

"I have a gift and sooner or later I have to give it away," Bonds said. "I have to share it. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity here."

Before settling into his front-row seat at AT&T Park — Bonds was closer to the action than the mayor of San Francisco and the speaker of the House of Representatives — Barry also said his old team can beat the Texas Rangers without any of his help.

"They don't need me," Bonds said (prophetically). "They're fine by themselves."

Funny how that's also been a recurring theme of Bonds' life.

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Perhaps he's just getting bored. Of course, if he only wants to work for the hometown team, Bonds will just have to wait until the Giants tire of current hitting coach Hensley Meulens — or he of them. Bonds also could work for the Oakland Athletics across the bay someday, or try to hook on wherever they need help.

If he really wanted to share his gifts, that is.

Were it not for Bonds' enormously distracting celebrity/notoriety and ego, along with the fact that he's about to go on trial for lying to a federal grand jury about taking steroids, he might make a great hitting coach. No matter what chemicals he put or didn't put in his body, Bonds was the game's best hitter over the past 50 years.

If he's really trying to be selfless and impart some knowledge — which he no doubt has — Bonds should offer to become a minor league hitting coach for the Giants. Once the he's cleared in the perjury trial, that is.

Those kids could always use a good example to follow. C'mon, Barry. Go ride the bus.

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Bonds never officially announced his retirement from the game; in 2008, the season after he hit the last of his record 762 career homers, Bonds often seemed on the verge of possibly, maybe, kind of hitching on with a new team — but it never happened.

Maybe he was blackballed, given the shaft (can you dig it?). Maybe he just didn't want it badly enough anymore.

We'll see if his new search for work as a batting coach meets with the same result.

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