Barry Bonds will be making his return to San Francisco Giants camp, according to an exclusive report from Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News. The embattled legend and MLB's all-time home run leader is scheduled to serve as a special instructor for Giants' hitters in March, which will mark the first time Bonds has worked with the Giants or any MLB team in an official capacity since his final season in 2007.
It's an interesting and noteworthy decision by the Giants for all of the obvious reasons. We're talking about Barry Bonds here. A man who has been endlessly accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. A man who faced a perjury trial in 2011 and was ultimately convicted for obstruction of justice. Are they sure they want to bring that baggage and the attention he's likely to garner to their camp?
Apparently so, because manager Bruce Bochy didn't express any concern when asked about the news on Saturday.
"He's part of what we'll do here," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's going to be part of the group of instructors, like (Will) Clark, (J.T.) Snow or (Jeff) Kent. He's going to be like the other guys and help where he can.
"I don't have any concerns."
For those curious when Bonds is scheduled to report, the Giants are said to be unsure. They were originally anticipating his arrival on March 10 and planning for him to stay one week. Apparently his camp won't confirm those dates just yet, so they'll await further word. This story is basically in the developmental stages on all ends, but he has definitely committed to appearing next month.
Nice scoop by @AlexPavlovic on Bonds being a spring instructor. I'm told it's his idea, & he won't be paid outside of per diem/travel costs.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) February 22, 2014
Pavlovic also notes the Giants aren't completely sure what to expect from Bonds in his new role, but feel their hitters can benefit from his knowledge. It's sound thinking. Bonds was already in an elite class offensively even before the monster home run totals came in his later years. It was always clear he possessed a terrific understanding of hitting in general, and it's that feel and knowledge they hope can translate and make sense for their players.
Whether or not it does is one question they'll be anxious to answer. Whether or not the likely distractions are worth the trouble is another. But if all goes well, this will likely grow into a new regular role for Bonds and give him one big foot back in the door.
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