Rumors have spread that the Miami Marlins offered Barry Bonds a position as one of their two new hitting coaches. Cue all the jokes about what a Giancarlo Stanton would look like on steroids.
Opinions flare on twitter anytime Barry Bonds is brought into a conversation. Most either love him or hate him, but all of the hate is based on strictly steroid use. Nobody ever says a word about him as a player or a hitter, and rightfully so. Watching him hit was unlike anything we’ve seen since. Only one person in history has been intentionally walked with the bases loaded, and that’s Barry Bonds.
Let’s stick to facts here. The fact is Barry Bonds never drew positive on a PED test. You can bring up all the stories you want, but what’s important here, is that he is in good standing with Major League Baseball. He even had his one felony conviction overturned by an appeals court last year. As far as MLB and the law are concerned, he’s 100% settled and clean now. There’s nothing holding him back from taking a position in MLB, which he hasn’t done since he last played in 2007.
Now that we’ve established that, lets look at the job he’s being hired for. He’s a hitting coach. He’s there to teach the young guys his hitting philosophies. Whether you believe Bonds to be a steroid user or not, there is absolutely nobody on earth that wouldn’t want to be coached by Bonds from a hitting perspective.
There’s a lot that goes into hitting, and hitting 700+ home runs in your career. Some of it is power and staying healthy, which you could argue was assisted by PEDs (if you believe it). But the other side of hitting, the mechanics, approach and overall philosophy is something that can’t be aided by any external substance. Fact of the matter is, is you want to believe Bonds was on PEDs, lets go ahead and take away 200 of his career home runs. Satisfied? Now he’s a member of the 500 club. From 1990 to 2004, there were only four seasons that Bonds hit under .300.
There are few people on earth more qualified to teach hitting to a group of young hitters than Barry Bonds, whether PED user or not. Any team, including the Marlins, would largely benefit from having the HR king in their clubhouse every day.