Barry Bonds set to become the Marlins’ hitting coach

Well, I’d say they caught a big fish (excuse the horrific pun, you can leave now). After extending an offer to 14-time all-star Barry Bonds, the seven-time MVP has “tentatively agreed” to become the Fish’s next hitting coach. He will share duties with current hitting coach Frank Menechino, who’s been with the club since 2013.

Despite your thoughts on the MLB’s all-time homerun, intentional walks and total walks champion there’s no doubt he could help out a young Marlins ball club that’s seen better days with the bats. Regardless of his steroid use he was still a great hitter and knows how to hit. The steroids didn’t make Barry Bonds, they HEAVILY supplemented his is apparent and present talent.

Last season, as has been the case in the past, the Marlins suffered many setbacks, including Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich going down with injuries and Marcel Ozuna getting sent down to AAA. Martin Prado and Dee Gordon also missed some time due to injuries.  The Fish were 23rd in on base percentage, 27th in slugging percentage and 29th in runs scored.

The Marlins’ unscrupulous PR enabled this deal to be digested easier, it’s a move that won’t be as heavily dissected and questioned. Because the Marlins aren’t as meticulously monitored and the fan base doesn’t have the same rigor of others, they could sign Barry Bonds without many repercussions of people questioning their integrity.  Make no mistake, this is still Barry Bonds making his return to baseball, it’ll be dissected.

If he treats this opportunity like a legitimate chance to become relevant in baseball anew, this could be the move of the offseason for a Marlins team desperate for offence to complement their young arms in the rotation. If he can break out of the shell that most perpetuate him of having, he can help the Marlins’ young hitters with so much potential to become great.

ESPN First Take analyst Skip Bayless, who covered Bonds in San Francisco during the height of his success, gave his opinion on the matter “If Barry Bonds puts his mind to it, which can be debatable, if he cares enough about it, he could be as great a hitting instructor as ever there was in the sport of baseball.”

 

 

Jose Fernandez trade: A deterrent to Baseball in Miami

 

The baseball world was set ablaze this week when reports surfaced that there was a possibility the Miami Marlins could move ace Jose Fernandez in the summer. The rumors had their genesis in stalled contractual negotiations between the perpetually-maligned Scott Boras and the Marlins who infamously “banned” the super GM from talks about Fernandez’ workload earlier in the week. A few days later Fernandez stated “I do not know what all this is all about, but Scott Boras will be there, because he’s my agent. I get to decide who is going to be on my phone calls. It’s that simple.”

The rumblings influenced ESPN baseball contributor David Schoenfield to note that the Dodgers, Royals, Red Sox, Twins and Astros could be potential landing spots for the former Rookie of the Year.

Despite the fans’ unequivocal love for the Cuban export players inside the locker room might not always appreciate his semantics “On at least two occasions in the Marlins clubhouse this season, Fernandez approached (president of baseball operations Mike) Hill — according to multiple player sources — and openly said ‘when are you going to trade me?’” said Schoenfield. “There were times this season where, not all, but some players and coaches hoped Jose would go out on the mound and get shelled. [an anonymous player stated] We thought it would get him to be more humble.”

Since coming into the league in 2013, the one time all-star has been the heart and soul of South Floridian baseball, putting a charge in a undoubtedly dormant fan base that adores the Santa Clara, Cuba native. He is, in most ways imaginable, the city of Miami symbolised in a person, effervescent, entertaining and always up for an event.  To trade Jose Fernandez would be a larger hit to the city’s baseball future than any shot management has applied before. The 2012 clear-out ripped the team in half and left franchise centrepiece Giancarlo Stanton unhappy, the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis trade ripped out the future and “mojo” of the city but nothing would equate to trading Fernandez.

It would be like killing the ringleader of a gang, he is everything to that city and team, more so than Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton somehow gets people off their phone for three minutes during the game but attendance when Fernandez is on the bump isn’t comparable to when, let’s say, Jarred Cosart is pitching. Having been in attendance when the former Cy Young finalist was on the mound, I can attest to the collective buzz in the ballpark when he makes it to the mound, a buzz astray from the ballpark on any other day than “Jose day”.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com spoke to some people “in the know” and admits that the Marlins ace will not be dealt, but knowing the people in charge in Miami, intelligent thought isn’t all that depended upon.