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Barry Bonds is back in uniform

Mar 10, 2014, 1:32 PM EST

Barry Bonds showed up at San Francisco Giant camp in Scottsdale today, where he will begin a week as a coach/instructor. As I type this, he’s sitting with Bruce Bochy for a press conference.

Having a guy who is among the best ever at baseball coming in to your camp to teach players is huge. Moreover, having a guy who is among the best ever but who, when he played, was reputed to be surly and not always approachable by teammates willingly coming to be a coach is even bigger. Certainly more newsworthy. It’s not anything we’d ever really expected and that’s sort of the definition of news.

But of course, from what I’ve seen of the press conference, the media wants to ask him about PED and Hall of Fame stuff. Because of course they do. For the record, Bonds’ response to PED questions was to tell the reporters to go read the court transcripts. Which, OK, whatever. His response to whether he should be in the Hall of Fame was to say, yeah, he should definitely be in the Hall of Fame but that that’s up the voters and he’s not going to tell them how to do their jobs.

Personally, I’m more interested in Bonds now and the impact an all-time great might have on the 2014 Giants. But since Pedro Gomez and a bunch of those guys are at the presser, I feel like the coverage that comes out of it is gonna smell an awful lot like 2007.

  1. sbmcintosh36 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Anybody know what size hat he ordered this time around?

  2. pilonflats - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    its good to see barry back

    • Old Gator - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Why, chemical sales been slow?

  3. themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    He looks fit and ready to play. I wonder what will happen if he takes BP and can still yard them out?

    • Old Gator - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      He starts taking urine tests. To paraphrase Thomas More’s advice to Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons, “be a teacher, Barry.”

  4. karlkolchak - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    They should have asked him what it was like to see his team win two World Series titles after he retired. That had to hurt.

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      I don’t think ‘retired’ is the right term, maybe ‘colluded out of the game’ (as in illegal collusion by the owners when not one club was willing to call his agent about the statement that he’d play and money was not the issue.)

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        That’s a pretty strong allegation.

        Especially considering he was such a dick, not to mention the media distraction he would have caused.

        It’s perfectly reasonable that no team wanted all the baggage, plus the risk of having to deal with a suspension if/when he finally got popped.

      • clemente2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        No one thought after 2004 there was widespread usage (partly why Biogenesis was a big deal to the PTB). It was well-known Bonds was being tested all the time. And his last year was still top 20 in offense. If Tampa Bay had picked him up for their woeful DH spot, it was WS time. SO, yes, collusion. And the players Bonds had trouble with were Kent and Clark–think about that alittle.

      • paperlions - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        That is an allegation that is 100% consistent with the data. Bonds was fantastic his last year, and even though fans and the media hated him, his team mates didn’t actually hate him that much (indeed, they hated Jeff Kent more). There are plenty of ass holes, drug users, and wife beaters in MLB….and you really think a team couldn’t find a roster spot for a guy that was one of the best players in the league the year before because he was a dick?

      • raysfan1 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        Not arguing your point that he was still better than most players on ML rosters, but no way my Rays get to the WS in 2004, or finish any higher than 3rd in the division, in 2004 even with Barry Bonds–even with 2001 production. .500 maybe (they were 70-91, so even that is stretching it).

      • largebill - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        None of that adds up to definitive “collusion.” Separate entities can all do the same thing (or in this case all NOT do something) without any discussion or mutual agreement to do it (or not do it). His last year Bonds still had a great sense of the strike zone and could still hit. However, in the field he no longer had much range. Another year older and all those skills would decline further. Talk back then was he would be mostly a DH type if he played another year. Of the 14 AL teams each could individually decide not to bother bringing him in for different reasons. Those reason could be baseball related (set at DH & LF) or could be not just related to on field reasons. A team does not have to have a great reason not to sign a player. Ervin Santana is probably better than some starting pitchers with contracts and apparently his current asking price is reasonable based on last years performance. However, his asking price early on this off season caused teams to go with other players.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Just for arguments sake:

        Let’s say that he could only be expected to DH, which cuts it down to 14 teams “colluding” to not sign him.

        Can we agree that really terrible teams from 2007 wouldn’t be an option? MAYBE for the attendance, but really teams that aren’t expected to compete probably aren’t going to sign him….Which actually leaves out Tampa, Kansas City, Baltimore and Chicago (All won less than 75 games in 2007, and Tampa came out of nowhere in 2008).

        So now we’re down to 10 legitimate teams that might consider signing him.

        Of those 10, Boston was obviously out as a DH destination, as was New York who already had too many guys to shift around, Cleveland also thought they were shored up at the DH position with Hafner, Detroit had Gary Sheffield, and Minnesota had up-and-coming Jason Kubel, and Anaheim looked to be expecting a rebound season from Juan Rivera but also had plenty of other options already available.

        Which leaves just Oakland, Seattle (who didn’t seem to have any idea what they were doing at that point anyway), Texas (who ended up getting a great season out of Milton Bradley) and Toronto (who never knows what they are doing) as the only destinations that, from a pre-season point of view, he could really have been expected to be a major improvement on the situation worthy of however many millions of dollars the team would have to spend.

        So…..*shrug*

      • largebill - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        In some ways the case to argue collusion here is similar to how some NFL analysts are quick to scream racism if hiring doesn’t line up demographically during an off season. To make that argument they act as if the NFL is hiring a bunch of coaches and decides to only hire one minority. Reality is a bunch of individual team owners & GM’s are hiring a new coach and my guess is each of them believes they are hiring the best guy for their job. This year several minorities were hired for coaching and front office positions and I doubt the league suddenly was racist last year and not racist this year. Nope, just different guys interviewed for different positions with different teams and got hired. The same thing with collusion. Reaching the same decision does not mean they all got together to decide on making that decision.

      • crackersnap - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        Of course, there WAS that whole “Bonds was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury and will be tried for perjury” thing that was hung around his neck during the offseason immediately following his final season of 2007. Nothing like signing a player, even if the Players Association allowed that signing to be for the league minimum, only to lose that player to the daily demands of a Federal trial.

        Yeah, I might be inclined to check my bet on that one, just like everybody else at the table.

      • clemente2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        Lots of confusion–Barry’s last year with SF was 2007. He was available for the 2008 year. TB maybe came out of nowhere, but they had no DH to speak of and knew half-way through they were in it and still had no DH comparable to Bonds. Yes, lots of baggage, but baggage on other players never stopped someone trying to win. Collusion, yes.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        Tampa was not a reasonable spot for Bonds because of the assumption that they would only win roughly 70 games, as per usual. That’s my point with looking at their 2007 records, and what they were projected to do in 2008 with the rosters they put together in the offseason.

        They also didn’t have a guy earn more than $6,000,000 that year, and had a roster full of potentially decent performers like Gomes, Floyd, and Baldelli.

        You think they were going to pay $5,000,000 (at LEAST) for Bonds to DH, especially midseason, after establishing that what they had was sufficient?

        Beyond that, they were 13-12 in the month of July leading up to the deadline which, if I remember correctly (I live in their area), had people pretty guarded about their ability to compete in the last 2 months.

        And they did get 24 HRs, and a .751 OPS out of the DH position that year which was hardly the weakest offensive position on the team (Catcher, Second Base, Shortstop, Left Field and Center Field all contributed less offensively. Granted the standards are different, but it wasn’t a dumpster fire).

      • raysfan1 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        Disregard my earlier comment. For some reason I was thinking 2004 not 2008.

  5. nymets4ever - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Another day, another petty holier-than-thou swipe at the media by Craig…

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      Just this morning — literally this morning — you accused me of protecting writers and going after players. Make up your mind, please. I’m not sure why to think you’re an idiot. I mean, there are a lot of reasons, but I’d like to settle on one.

      • nymets4ever - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        I’ll clear it up for you. You do root for beat writers over athletes. The only time you break that protocol and actually side with the athletes is when those athletes are PED cheating scumbags.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        I’m also tired of you always doing one thing, and then always doing another thing when I’m sure you always do both of those things 100% of the time.

        MAKE UP YOUR MIND CRAIG!

      • daveitsgood - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        NARRATIVE CRAIG!!!! Because the Internet!

      • zzalapski - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        At some point, it really doesn’t matter why he’s an idiot.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        WHY IS MY IHEARTRADIO APP SKIPPING CRAIG!?!

    • raysfan1 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      “nymets4ever – Mar 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM
      lol @ how you sit around rooting for beat writers over the athletes themselves.”

      Now you can debate yourself. That should be fun.

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        It’s simple to figure really – the Post (as sleazy as it is) is much better at its game they the Mets are at theirs so who is going to cheer for? Besides he’s probably still smarting from that very funny ‘Ed Cranepool’ crack in the other thread.

    • bostonboresme - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      nymetsSUCK4ever.

      Get a life. Go help Ike Davis learn to hit.

    • Sign Ahead - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      On a strictly words-to-trolls basis, this is some very impressive work. You’re taking a lot of swings here:

      Asserting that Craig’s observations are invalid because he observes the same behavior frequently.

      Claiming that this is oh so tiresome.

      Suggesting that Craig thinks he’s better than the rest of us.

      Giving people you don’t like unpleasant nicknames.

      Hinting that Craig, and anyone who enjoys him may be gay (and making the odd assumption that this is somehow shameful).

      Adding a hint of derisive laughter.

      Unfortunately, you’re not getting a lot of hits. Son, I admire your spunk. But with a strikeout rate like yours, I can’t ever see you making the major leagues.

      • American of African Descent - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        So he’s on par with most Mets prospects.

    • American of African Descent - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      Haliday’s Bicepts? Is that you?

      • Alex K - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        “cepts is around and using his own name. This is a different person.

      • American of African Descent - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        sar·casm (n) \ˈsär-ˌka-zəm\

        : the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        Lets not confuse halladaysbiceps with THIS jackass. halladaysbiceps is a thoughtful kindly soul, with a deep love for baseball and all things Phillie related (excluding the NCAA) compared to this paragon of idiocy. halladaysbiceps might ruffles some feathers but he does not troll. Lets not insult our friend and fellow commenter, ok?

      • Alex K - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        You’re right. That was very clearly sarcastic. How could I be so dumb.

  6. jonmarkbarre - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    barry bombs was one of the best every then he ate up a steroid and ruin my taste

    • clemente2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      All your bases are mine

  7. mmeyer3387 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    First, like him or not, I’m sure that he has a lot of knowledge that he can pass on to others. If you don’t like him that’s fine. Second, are PEDS any different then pitchers throwing spit balls or doctoring the ball, hitter corking their bats. Players stealing signs, sharpening spikes and any other ways of cheating that anyone else can think of that I didn’t. Clearly, players have cheated for a long time and Bonds was not the first and will not be the last. That a side, the PED jokes are getting old, plus you may think that you know who has or who has not taken them. Yet, you are probably wrong because It’s very probable that no one knows for sure to what degree they have been or who is still using them. I’m sure that there are players who took them that will shock us when we find out many years from now. But that aside, yes Bonds did use PED’S, But like him or not, he is the best all around hitter that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if we will ever witness anyone with a better swing in my generation. Remember, the years that he hit those home runs, he was walk so much that he owns the record for most walks in a season. He never, had any protection in the batting order and his home field was far from being a hitters park. Clearly, he was the best offensive player of his generation.

    • bennoj - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      “Clearly, he was the best offensive player of his generation.”

      No matter which definition of “offensive” you care to use…

  8. nymets4ever - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Damn, the Craig Buttbuddy Brigade is out in full force today. Get off your knees and wipe off those chins, people! Haha

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      Did you have to add “Haha” at the end so we’d know that was supposed to be a joke?

      Also, nice subtle gay bashing you worked in there too.

      • Old Gator - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        What was “subtle” about it? Muttsforever is just a miserable slob, and about all he ever says are slob things.

    • paperlions - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Nah, it is entirely possibly to not care for Craig and to still recognize that your are a complete idiot.

    • braddavery - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      I’m often on Craig for certain things, but I do like him and respect his opinions. You are just trolling. Get a hobby.

      • Old Gator - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        Better yet, Mutts4ever, get a vasectomy. Let it end with you.

  9. temporarilyexiled - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Bonds gets pissed when McGwire and others turn into cartoon characters and does them one better, but McGwire gets way more of a free pass as hitting instructor than Bonds. Hmmm…

    And if you’ll remember, in the HR race with Sosa, McGwire wasn’t exactly friendly – which we all noticed, and Sosa…well lets just say he’s less surly…but does anyone admire his character?

    Bonds is one complicated dude. A lot to admire. A lot to despise. Always interesting.

    No need to be mutually exclusive in our feelings about the guy.

    He’s a lightning rod for heated discussion.

    And that discussion – if we’re keeping it real – includes race.

    • Old Gator - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      How so? What does his race have to do with his years and years of cheating?

      • temporarilyexiled - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Great question.

        My answer…nothing.

        Better questions for me would be:

        Do you feel he gets way more “thug” comments than other cheaters?

        And then: Do you think he’s more of a “thug” than other cheaters?

        And still then: Why do you interpret these comments this way?

        Just my own opinions/metacognition…a very long post with footnotes…or not. : )

        I think the tenor of much that’s said reminds me of what the POTUS has to endure.

        And I think he’s no better or worse than the other cheaters, and that we’ll never know him or the others well enough personally, in order to single out this or that one and get it right.

        I’ve experienced all kinds of highs and lows in watching what he’s done.

        Does he really deserve as much crap as he gets compared to the rest?

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        1) I’ve never seen Barry Bonds referred to as a “thug”

        and

        2) People really effing hate Alex Rodriguez too. And Jason Giambi took a beating too. McGwire’s cheating wasn’t completely apparent until after his retirement. Bonds was obvious even before he was….you know…indicted.

      • temporarilyexiled - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        I’ve seen plenty of “thug” references – and way more inferences.

        You’re right that Aroid has done plenty to earn loads of scorn. Probably wouldn’t matter if the stuff turned him pink with purple stripes. Quite the body of work – much of it current.

        I just saw The Giambino on MLB Network. More like elder statesman of the walkoff homer. It’s been a long time since he’s gotten any flack. Didn’t get that much in the day.

        And I’ll bet Ryan Braun, who repeatedly let us all down, is soon enough forgiven. Won’t hurt that he’s still in his prime and likely to put up great numbers, steroids or no steroids.

        Hard to prove, I know – but I’ll conjecture that when it comes to getting away with it in the court of public opinion – as unfortunately, in the country at large – the whiter the better.

  10. ch0psuey - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Best injection site?? I kidd I kidd, bet the players can get some good tips from him.

  11. scatterbrian - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Does that link to Pedro Gomez’s Twitter account? I couldn’t tell.

  12. rcali - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Did he bring his “Flaxseed Oil?”

  13. amehta256 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    People should chill…. Barry provided a lot of entertainment with his homers and all the stats he put up for the Giants. It’s good to see all time greats comeback in some capacity.

  14. florida76 - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    No intelligent person can say Bonds is among the best ever, because that honor is reserved for players who performed at that level for many years. Bonds had several years of clean, outstanding play before the cheating began, and that’s insufficient for such accolades. We can’t sweep aside reality for the sake of a story. The moral equivalency of this blog is depressing. And the all time legends also managed to win at least one world title, while Bonds fell short in that category as well.

    No doubt Bonds has considerable knowledge to pass along, assuming he’s in a good mood that day. I hope Bonds and the other users don’t develop medical problems later.

    • Alex K - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      I guess that honor isn’t reserved for Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Hank Aaron, either. They all used amphetamines during their careers.

    • clemente2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Barry was a Hall of Famer before 1999. That’s 13 years of MLB, with the last seven with an OPS+ above 1.000.

      Even the most addled anti-PED’er does not think all of his production post-’98 is due to PEDs.

  15. bostonboresme - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Looks like he’s trying to squeeze into one of his old Pirate uniforms.

  16. yahmule - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Well, this thread was full of productive discussions. I’m sure a lot of people changed their opinions after reading it.

  17. jrob23 - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    His head size is remarkably smaller. But steroids and HGH don’t affect you physically except for healing faster right guys? Most of it is just mental..right gang?

  18. mmeyer3387 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Yes his hat size has changed (HA, HA, HA.) But let us agree that steroids & HGH are cheating. I have no doubt that the HOF already has several players that have cheated and more will be inducted in the future. However, when pitchers would scoff the ball, use grease or vaseline. Hitters doctor bats with cork or rubber balls in side the bats. Not to long ago, most players used Amphetamines in there coffee and every team had players using it, teams encouraged its use. You may not think that taking Amphetamines is a big deal, but an energy boost is critical for 162 game schedule. All of these aids ore cheating. Still, we know that NFL players and Olympians used steroids and HGH in the 70′s. But many think that PEDS only came into use in the MLB for about ten years or fifteen years so . Additionally, I’m sure that people like you are right in believing that MLB players were to dumb to use the good stuff. Surly, MLB players just started a little latter than other sport competitors. But MAYBE YOU ARE WRONG AND PEDS may have been in the league MUCH LONGER THAT YOU REALIZE. Possibility one of your past or present players may be users. BUT CHEER UP. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

    • airedale1950 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      Wow…perhaps a little less time in front of the TV and computer screen, and more in the grammar and English classes there mmeyer3387.
      Your lack of practical writing skills is alarming…and you seem a bit confused as well.

  19. airedale1950 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Someone check to see if his hat size has shrunk back to his Sophomore season proportions….and while you are at it, put one of his 2007 game uni’s on and measure the size differential…My guess is we can now stuff Popeye’s girl Olive Oil in there with him, with room to spare!

  20. bostonboresme - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:22 AM

    Steroids or not, it takes a whole lotta skill to hit a round ball with a round bat out of a ballpark 762 times. Not to mention the longevity.

  21. richarddansky - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Just for old times sake…

    Pedro Gomez has never denied being nymets4ever

  22. nymets4ever - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    One day later, and Pedro Gomez and all the other journalists you take petty swipes at still have more fame and more money than you will ever have — enough money, in fact, to buy kneepads for the entire Craig Buttbuddy Brigade, so at least they can stay somewhat comfortable while they assume the position in front of Mr. Calcaterra. lol

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Tell me, do you derive some sort of pleasure from making homophobic comments like this? The visual imagery pleases you in some way? You seem quick to engage in this sort of thing, prefer it to all other form of insult, and evidence pleasure after your remarks. You like the idea of what you describe, don’t you?

      • dluxxx - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        He’s jealous.

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