Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds has caught the coaching bug and he can’t stop giving pointers. Even if it benefits players from other teams.
The former Giants great was recently asked how Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals’ 23-year-old outfielder who is also the best active hitter in the game, could better take advantage of being intentionally walked so frequently.
Because who would know better than Bonds, who has been issued the most free passes in the history of the game? (And by no small margin: Bonds had 688 intentional walks. The next in line, Albert Pujols, has 297.)
Bonds’ advice for Harper? Steal second base.
“My kids used to tell me, ‘Daddy, I’m sorry they walk you all the time,’” Bonds told The Associated Press. “I said, ‘Yeah, but my job’s now to steal.’ I could run then, so I had to steal bases and my job’s to score runs and keep the pressure on the team regardless of what happened. But I had a different game than him.”
Representatives with the Marlins have said Bonds has avoided what sunk Ted Williams as a coach. That is, he understands everyone doesn’t have his world-class eyesight and hand quickness. But these comments might serve as a reminder to Harper that even though he’s a 20-something super-duper star, he still ain’t Barry.
Given how polarizing Harper is to the press, and how he’s hit 45 more homers than Bonds did by the time he was 24, he might be the closest thing baseball fans have to another Barry.
Check ya later, mate
Former 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne announced Sunday that he would be retiring from the NFL to focus on making the Fiji Rugby Sevens team in the Rio Olympics, putting an end to a strange marketing ploy that saw its moderate highs (forcing Australian writers to make sense of American football) and considerable lows (fumbling his first punt return after much preseason fanfare).albert pujols jarryd hayneBarry BondsBryce HarperSan Francisco Giantsted williamsWashington Nationals