Bonds hoping to help out with Giants
Home run king interested in coaching opportunities
SAN FRANCISCO -- A cheerful Barry Bonds appeared Monday at AT&T Park and divulged that he has discussed the possibility of rejoining the Giants, probably in some sort of coaching capacity.The Major Leagues' all-time home run leader, who attended the San Francisco-Arizona game as part of a charitable endeavor, said that he and Larry Baer, the Giants' president and chief executive officer, began discussions regarding a potential reunion about a month ago. Bonds, a five-time Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star during his 1993-2007 tenure with the Giants, wouldn't join the organization until next year at the earliest if he were hired. He emphasized that his intentions are serious. "There are still things we need to talk about," he said. "Hopefully we keep talking. This isn't definite. ... If you believe that I can contribute and help the organization, then fine. If you don't -- I'm just saying it's out there." Bonds indicated that it would be premature to speculate on what role he would fill for the Giants.
"It's just whatever's best for the organization," he said. "I don't need to just be in the Major Leagues. I'm here to help the kids in the Minor Leagues and development and stuff like that."Bonds wants to be more than just a figurehead, however.
"My expertise is baseball," he said. "That's the only role I can have. My expertise is on that field."Bonds, 47, gained attention for his involvement in baseball's performance-enhancing drug scandal as well as for the skill he displayed while hitting 762 home runs. He was convicted in April 2011 for obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 30 days of home detention. His lawyers are appealing the conviction. Asked if he regretted his association with that controversy, Bonds said, "What happened happened. It's there. It is what it is. I live with it. I'm a convicted felon for obstruction of justice, and that's who I am. I live with it." Bonds also was asked whether he had succeeded in ridding the PED scandal from his mind.
"It'll never go off your mind," he said. "You don't ever forget those things. You move on. I'll never forget it."It's widely believed that Bonds' link to alleged PED use will compromise his chances of being elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. His name will appear on the ballot for the first time later this year. He said he had no idea whether he'll be elected on the first ballot.
"That's up to the writers to worry about that stuff," he said. "I'll be at home having a good time with my life and my kids."Bonds acknowledged that "it would be very sad" if he didn't gain induction to Cooperstown.
"That's why I don't need to comment on it," he said.Bonds addressed various other subjects while speaking to reporters for nearly a half-hour outside the Giants clubhouse, including: Tim Lincecum's struggles. "He's a great pitcher and he's really good," Bonds said. "He doesn't have two Cy Youngs by accident. It's how he deals with it and his preparation. Each year gets tough to figure out things and you have to make some changes. The faster he can do that, he'll turn things around. He's a wonderful pitcher and a great kid, and I've always thought that since Day 1. Sometimes you have to go through this to get better. I went through it; we all go through it." His physical condition. A noticeably slender Bonds said that he had trimmed himself to 215 pounds -- "and when I played I was not over 238," he said. Insisting that he doesn't miss playing baseball, though he keeps a bat handy in his office at home, Bonds said he lost weight by bicycling 400 miles each week until he underwent hip and back surgeries recently.
Never having officially retired. Asked if he'll actually do this, Bonds responded with a laugh, "Maybe." Will he play again? "No," he said, laughing harder. When somebody suggested that Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson also refrained from formally retiring, Bonds said, "Maybe some of us just don't ever want to retire."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.