Giants

Marlins' Bonds: 'God knows, I'm a Hall of Famer'

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Marlins' Bonds: 'God knows, I'm a Hall of Famer'

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton grew up a Dodgers fan and remembers attending their games when Barry Bonds would step to the plate for the Giants.

"It's one of those sounds you never forget - how loud those boos were," Stanton said.

Bonds has turned down the volume by keeping a low profile since 2007, his final year as a player. Now the polarizing home run king is back in the major leagues as hitting coach for Stanton and the Miami Marlins.

Bonds wore his familiar No. 25 and a smile as he faced a cluster of notebooks and cameras during media day Saturday at Marlins Park. The session included no boos or questions about steroids, and only one brief reference to the Hall of Fame, where Bonds is an uncharacteristic 0 for 4 in the annual balloting.

He received 44 percent of the vote in January, a career high but far short of the 75 percent needed for induction. Nonetheless, he said he considers himself a Hall of Famer.

"There's not one player that ever could say I'm not one," he said. "There's not a coach who ever coached me who says I'm not one. In my heart and soul, and God knows, I'm a Hall of Famer."

[RELATED: Bonds arrives at Marlins camp: 'No idea where I'm going']

Bonds will likely hear some jeers around the NL this season. Marlins players have expressed no reservations about working with the steroids-tainted slugger, however, and Stanton sounded enthusiastic despite inadvertent choice of words that caused a few double-takes.

"I'm going to go in the lab, get to work and see what we can come up with," he said.

Bonds will begin working with Stanton, reigning NL batting champion Dee Gordon and two-time AL batting champ Ichiro Suzuki, among others, when the full squad reports for spring training Tuesday in Jupiter, Florida.

"He can help everybody," veteran infielder Chris Johnson said. "If you can't pick something up from him, I don't know who can help you. You'd be an idiot not to be picking his brain all the chances you get."

Bonds might agree. He said he knows what will work if a player is willing to put in the time, and as a mentor, he said he can be another Willie Mays.

"It's great to be in the position I'm in, the same thing as my godfather Willie was," he said.

Bonds said spring training will be a time to develop relationships and perhaps step on toes. He was already acquainted with Stanton, who played against Bonds' son in high school in Los Angeles and grew up a fan of the Giants slugger.

"Me and my brother would fight over his rookie cards and stuff," Stanton said. "I still have a couple I stole from him."

Bonds is the career leader in home runs with 762 and a seven-time NL MVP, but the Marlins are treating him like one of the guys. Ace Jose Fernandez, a .190 career hitter, joked that he can hit the ball farther than the new hitting coach.

"I'm 51 years old, so he'd better," Bonds responded with a laugh. "If he doesn't, he's terrible."

In recent years Bonds worked as a guest instructor for the Giants in spring training and privately tutored several players, including Alex Rodriguez. Hiring him in Miami was team owner Jeffrey Loria's idea, and new manager Don Mattingly supported the move.

Bonds said he has missed competition and clubhouse camaraderie, and saw coaching as a way to honor his late father, former major leaguer Bobby Bonds, who taught Barry how to hit.

Bonds convinced the Marlins he's willing to put in the long hours the job requires.

"I've been a hitting coach, and I know how much time it takes," Mattingly said. "I wanted to make sure Barry was ready for that, and he was."

Mattingly, a six-time All-Star, said the hiring upgraded his staff's collective resume.

"Between me and Barry," Mattingly said with a smile, "we hit over a thousand homers."

Giants rookies dress up as ‘Reno 911’ cops for flight to Atlanta

Giants rookies dress up as ‘Reno 911’ cops for flight to Atlanta

The Giants' Triple-A affiliate is located in Sacramento, but their rookie dress-up day had a Reno theme.

For the team's flight from Boston to Atlanta on Thursday evening, the veterans made the youngsters don "Reno 911" cop uniforms, complete with the short shorts.

Luckily for us, most of the players embraced the outfit and posted photos on their Instagram Stories.

We'll let the images speak for themselves:

[RELATED: How Giants' top five picks played]

Based on the image, 12 Giants rookies got in on the fun, and they even used a real cop car as a prop at the airport in Boston.

With 12 "cops" on the flight to Atlanta, you know no shenanigans will happen.

Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency

Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency

The Giants' three-game series at Fenway Park was filled with so much history. 

Between a Yastrzemski reunion and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy's 2,000th career managerial win, there was much to be celebrated. That was until Thursday, when Madison Bumgarner took the mound.

Across five frames in the Boston Red Sox' 5-4 win over the Giants, MadBum gave up five runs and nine hits with two walks. He struck out seven, but struggled in the second frame as he approached 200 innings on the season. 

The balls that were hit off of Bumgarner's in his ninth loss of the season weren't hit all that hard. Boston beat him by putting the bat on the ball with singles from Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts, to name a few.

"This has probably been his worst year as far as luck," Bochy told reporters after the game. "I thought he threw better than what the numbers are going to show."

A pattern developed this year for Bumgarner on the road, and it wasn't a pretty one.

Away from Oracle Park this season, the four-time All-Star has a career-high 5.06 ERA with an opposing batting average of .280.

Call it tough luck, but as much as this sounds like a broken record, Bumgarner will be one of the top names in free agency this offseason, and it's no secret home/road splits are taken into account. 

[RELATED: Bochy's speech after 2,000th career win]

Bum talked about his outing after the loss, and couldn't explain some of the hits Boston got off him.

"Things don't always go your way," he said. "It's frustrating, you know. I feel really good about the way I threw."