Barry Bonds, baseball’s all-time home-run leader, will have his first official role in baseball since he faded away after the 2007 season. According to a report, Bonds will be a special instructor for the San Francisco Giants’ young hitters from March 9-17 at the Giants’ spring training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Bonds will be at spring training in the same capacity as several other special instructors.
“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.”
Bonds said in 2012 that he had approached Giants CEO Larry Baer about returning to the club in some capacity.
“Collectively within the organization, we felt that given Barry’s desire to continue to contribute to the Giants, we should be open-minded about giving him the same invite that he have given to other players in the past,” Baer said.
Bonds never officially retired as a player, but was never signed after becoming a free agent after the 2007 season. He is the game’s single-season (73) and career (762) leader in home runs, statistics that many see as tainted because of his involvement with controversial BALCO.
He was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2011 for testimony he gave to a grand jury investigating BALCO, a conviction that was upheld in September 2013.
Bonds has fallen well short of the 75 percent of the votes cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America for Hall of Fame induction during his first two years on the ballot. Bonds received 36.2 percent of the vote in 2013 and dropped to 34.7 percent this year, slightly less than the vote total for another all-time great who is a lightning-rod for performance-enhancing drug use in the sport, Roger Clemens.