Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds is coming back to the Giants (as a Spring Training instructor)

In a move that will please San Francisco Giants fans — and those who root for other teams who are really proud of that flaxseed oil joke they came up with five years ago — Barry Bonds will be serve as an instructor during Spring Training for the Giants.

bbAccording to Alex Pavlovic, who broke this story AND the Tyler Colvin signing earlier today:

Barry Bonds is scheduled to work for the organization in March, this newspaper has learned, serving as a special instructor for Giants hitters. Bonds has long wanted to take on a more active role with the organization, but the two sides have not been connected in an official capacity since 2007, Bonds’ last season in Major League Baseball.

Bruce Bochy said he’d be like any other instructor, performing the same duties as guys like Will Clark, J.T. Snow and Jeff Kent.

What this will mean in terms of raw numbers is impossible to know, and it could mean nothing. But there are a couple reasons why this is a terrific development, selfishly speaking.

1. I’m going to Scottsdale in a couple weeks, where I’ll probably get to walk past Bonds in the clubhouse and fail to muster up the courage to say anything to him. Hopefully I don’t trip over a towel and/or run into a wall in the process.

2. Grant Brisbee used today’s announcement as an excuse to post a bunch of cool videos of Bonds hitting baseballs into the bay. But the first thing that came to my mind when reading Pavlovic’s report was a video I can’t find anywhere. Back when SportsCenter was watchable, there was a five-minute segment where Bonds talked hitting with Rick Sutcliffe. I can’t remember what he said (a lot of it pertained to pitch recognition and how quickly Bonds makes judgments after a pitcher releases the ball, I think), but it was incredibly fascinating. The way he was able to put the finer points of his craft into words was startling, given his reputation with the media. It probably helped that he was speaking with a former pitcher in Sutcliffe, who didn’t really say much during the interview. It was just Bonds on Bonds, only much cooler and more informative than ESPN’s television show by the same name.

It’s probably been at least 10 years since I saw that clip, but I’ve thought about it every time Bonds is either seen at AT&T Park or mentions that he’d like to be a hitting coach someday. If that kind of knowledge is what the Giants’ hitters (and pitchers) are getting a taste of in March, they’ll be well-served to bring their appetites.

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And if anyone knows where to find that clip of Bonds talking hitting with Sutcliffe, please let me know!

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