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Did Barry Bonds’ eight days in Giants camp pay dividends?

Apr 10, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

Barry Bonds Giants spring AP

At least one guy — Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle — thinks so. He talks about improvements made by Angel Pagan and Brandon Crawford, each of whom worked closely with Bonds in Arizona, and thinks they are in no small part attributable to his instruction. Pagan is particularly effusive of Bonds’ advice.

I’m skeptical that an entire season’s worth of hitting instruction can make huge, consistent differences, so I’m not about to say that Bonds’ presence is the reason for the Giants early offensive success. But I do think it’s interesting as a data point in the “rehabilitating Barry Bonds and letting him back in the mainstream of baseball” campaign.

  1. Andee - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    I would say it’s helping Brandon Belt in the early going.

    • blabidibla - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Belt has been hitting since middle of last year.

      • Andee - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        This is true. Great to see him break out.

    • nogoodtomedead - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Belt didn’t get a chance to work with Bonds actually- he was sick or something the days Bonds was in camp

    • moogro - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Is Bond’s doing it for eight days or an entire season? Why be skeptical that entire season of hitting instruction would have benefit? Everyone has a hitting coach(es), and practices all the time. This article is confusingly worded.

  2. nymets4ever - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    No, don’t hold the needle that way! Positioning, positioning! Right asscheek, not left! Smith, why is your head not growing at the same speed of the others guys’?!

    • illuminancer - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      Ooh, how edgy! How long did it take you to come up with that one?

      • jrob23 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:41 AM

        as long as you to take Bonds D out of your mouth and complain about his post with one of your own?

  3. mmeyer3387 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I’m sure that many will disagree with my statement. That being said, love Bonds or hate him, he was a better all around ball player. When I watched Bonds I know what my eyes told me; Bonds was very special player. I’ve never seen a hitter that was walked with bases loaded in order to keep him from hitting. During my era, I have not seen a more complete hitter or impact-full offensive player.As far as PEB’s go, they have been in most sports for several decades. In the NFL, we know that they were used at lest as early as the 1970’s and if they were used in the NFL then, how do we know that they were not used the late 1970″s. People may not think so, but it is very possible.The difference is that they are much more effective and better.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      I think you’ll find a lot of agreement here. For the most part, readers here are a little more thoughtful than some other sports blogs.

    • jwbiii - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      The first I have read of steroid use in football was an SI article in the early ’60s about the Chargers, the AFL, not the NFL. The article took a “better living through chemistry” approach to the subject. It has been removed from SI’s on-line archives (Imagine that!). In baseball, it goes back to the 1880s. Of course the word “steroid” wasn’t coined until they were synthesized in the 1930s, but an extract of animal testes would have the same effect and a player would to fail a T/eT ratio test and an exogenous testosterone test.

      • mmeyer3387 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        Impressive and well done. You seem very well informed., perhaps your knowledge comes from someone with a strong science background. Furthermore, your blog is a breath of fresh air and provides a whole different perspective on a topic, that’s often over politicized more than its a rationalized.

  4. gameover78 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Zzzz more steroid references how fresh. Lets face it, the era was on steroids, not one player. And of all the players juicing, Bonds was the greatest and its not even close. Throughout the history of baseball, cheating has and will always exist. Vaseline, sand paper, corked bats, spit balls, shaved and weighted bats, etc

  5. musketmaniac - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    over you are on your game. Half of baseball is guilty of something, football is probably 90%. Bonds carried the burden of the entire game. The poster child of what was wrong with the game. And kept his mouth shut, and didn’t point a finger. That’s more impressive than his home runs.

    • jeffbbf - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      Bonds kept his mouth shut because he knew he was guilty, not because he was a stand-up guy. The reason he carried such a large burden was because he was such a rotten prick to the media his entire career. When the steroid issue came out, the media pounced and got their pound of flesh. Payback’s a bitch. I agree that Bonds wasn’t the only guilty one in baseball, but *please* do not fabricate some image of Bonds as the Atlas of baseball.

      • mmeyer3387 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        I don’t think that his image is a concern to most of us. The point is that Bonds was a great baseball player, but also a lighting rod to many. To some he was just fun to watch.I’ve never viewed him ever coming close to being a saint. However, I love the game and watching special players do remarkable things from an athletic perspective. Beyond that they are just human like everyone else. That being said, the one thing that don’t like about game is that sports reporters are often telling us fans, which players we should or should’t like.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Sorry Bonds, no one cares about you anymore. We have A-Rod to kick around now.

  7. baberuthslegs - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Too bad he couldn’t help Lincecum remember how to get the ball down.

  8. musketmaniac - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    many ways to cheat back then. Blood packing anyone.

  9. paperlions - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    It should be very easy to determine if the Giants are receiving dividends. If so, they should have received a 1099div from Bonds (information also provided to the IRS) and are required to claim that income on their taxes.

  10. sisqsage - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Why is this so hard to believe?
    Bonds was schooled by none other than Willie Mays, his godfather. Both men are revered in the baseball IQ department, and were among the very smartest players to put on a uniform.
    Bonds doesn’t need to seek rehabilitation of his image. There’s no grey area. People either love him (a small number) or hate him (a much larger number), based on his usually sour tude. He admitted in spring training he was a jerk in public because he needed that for his edge on the field. Jimmy Johnson said the same thing about his coaching style. Both were quite comfortable in not giving a hoot about what people thought of them. A week with Bonds would make any hitter better.

    • paperlions - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Because if teaching was that easy, then teams would hire the best hitters to teach their guys and everyone would be fantastic.

      • brewcrewchamps - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        I mean..most of these guys make at minimum a couple hundred grand a year to swing a bat and play defense. I would say they are probably pretty fantastic already.

      • paperlions - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        Haha….I meant, of course, that if a few days with Bond could result in everyone hitting like Belt, then everyone would hit like Belt….and, of course, if teaching was that easy then having a great hitting coach would regularly result in great improvements by players….which, of course, doesn’t happen…and when it anecdotally appears to happen, those gains always go away with increasing sample sizes.

  11. babyfarkmcgeezax - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM


  12. zinger99 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Why do you sucks stick up for him? He doesn’t care about you,why do you cling to him? You sucks….

    • fleaman1381 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      It’s not so much sticking up for him as agreeing with what has been said. He was a jerk and I probably wouldn’t want to go get beers with him. He even admits that it was part of the persona that he used as a player and by all accounts he seems like a decent enough guy away from baseball. But he is one of the best players in history of the game PEDs or not. I’ve heard him talk about hitting in interviews when he wasn’t being a tool and it was very interesting to hear what he said. I’m sure someone with more baseball knowledge and skills than me could take a lot more of this knowledge and make something happen with it.

      • yahmule - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        By all accounts he’s just a sweetheart away from the diamond. What did he tell his mistress exactly? That he wanted to “tear out her breast implants” and “cut off her head and leave her in a ditch?”

        Or his ex who endured repeated physical abuse.

        I guess Barry just needed to be that way to be the bestpossible player, right?

      • fleaman1381 - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        My comment was “away from baseball” not the diamond. He was a jerk while he was a player and I’m pretty sure this had to do with his flax-seed oil. I don’t condone the things he’s done at all. I’m just saying he SEEMS to have changed after baseball.

  13. Barry's Triceps - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Heres the list for outfielders not a lifetime achievement or best resume just simply the best.

    1. BONDS
    2. Babe
    3. Teddy Ballgame
    3. Clemente
    4. Mays
    5. Mantle

    Honorable mention: Jeter if he would have decided to play outfield. He probably still could for some teams. I remember seeing fat pig mark kotsay out there pretty recently

    • jrob23 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:48 AM

      Sorry but that list blows. Mays was probably the best. Mantle if not for his early leg injury next. That is tier one. The next tier includes Bonds, Griffey, Clemente and Trout. Yeah I said it. He is Mantle without the injury and I wouldn’t put it past him to end up with Mays and Mantle in top tier before all is said and done. You can’t include Williams and Ruth because they sucked at D. They were better hitters than the others but not overall

  14. yahmule - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    “I was only an asshole because (insert self serving lie).”

    Assholes are assholes because they enjoy treating people badly. No other reason.

  15. musketmaniac - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    microscopes everybody should live under one for a while. You’ll find that glass worse than any mirror.

  16. aresachaela - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    No way!! Big head is back!?

  17. jimmyt - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Was he passing out The Clear and The Cream?

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