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.”