The Miami Marlins have made quite the offseason splash. On Friday, they announced the hiring of Barry Bonds as their hitting coach on the staff of new manager Don Mattingly.
Bonds, 51, is returning to baseball with a full-time job for the first time since he retired as a player in 2007. He had recently served as a part-time hitting instructor in the Giants organization.
Bonds follows the path of Mark McGwire who left the game as a player amid allegations of steroid use, but since returned as an assistant coach. McGwire has served as the Cardinals and Dodgers hitting coach and this winter joined the Padres in the same position.
There is no questioning Bonds' résumé for the job as a two-time batting champion and owner of the all-time home run record. Whether a guy who has been synonymous with cheating is a good influence for players in the Marlins is a question many will ask, however.
Either way, it will be fun to watch, that's for sure. It could work out really well and Bonds could help players like Giancarlo Stanton reach new heights. Or, it could be a complete, Marlins-level disaster.
The Nats won't have to wait long to see Bonds with the Marlins, as Miami travels to D.C. for the home opener at Nationals Park on April 7. That means Bonds will be introduced to the crowd pregame. It will be interesting to see the reception he gets, given he was booed regularly in most road ballparks towards the end of his career.