Barry Bonds will rejoin the San Francisco Giants as a special advisor to the CEO, the team
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It’s been 10 years since Barry Bonds last hit a home run in a San Francisco Giants uniform, and now he returns to the organization playing a different tune.
“I’m in a much different capacity than before,” a relaxed Bonds said as he was sitting in the dugout at Scottsdale Stadium. “When I was playing, it would be whatever role I wanted. Now it’s whatever they ask me to do, which I kind of like better.”
Bonds, the all-time home run king, returns to the organization as a special advisor to CEO Larry Baer, the team announced Tuesday.
“This is my home. I want to help our community, the team, the younger players and keep the tradition alive,” said Bonds. “Same thing my godfather did, my father’s done. It’s the right thing to do.
“I’m from San Francisco, raised there. I want to help our community kids become Giants and good ones and keep the tradition alive.”
It’s been a long journey back for Bonds to the organization. In November 2007, weeks after hitting his 762nd home run, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on perjury charges. A mistrial was declared on two counts of perjury, while an obstruction of justice conviction was thrown out on appeal.
Over time, the Giants and Bonds warmed to one another, but a formal relationship did not emerge.
With the passing of time, Bonds admits he would have been “a little hurt” if the Giants did not ask him to be part of the organization again.
“I think anyone would have been hurt,” he said. “My feeling is with the community in San Francisco. As long as I have San Francisco people, the Giants go hand in hand. As long as I get to have the city of San Francisco behind me, they both go hand in hand.”
Bonds, 52, joins the Giants with less than two weeks before the regular season is set to begin. He will spend a week as a spring training instructor, and then spend time as a coach and mentor with the club’s minor league affiliates.
He spent the 2016 season with the Miami Marlins as the hitting coach before departing after just one season.
“I like this role better,” he said. “I like to be able to roam. I want to help out the whole organization. I want to be able to help the young guys coming up through the organization.”
Bonds didn’t address whether the organization will retire his No. 25 jersey or if he will be added to the Wall of Fame at AT&T Park, only to say he didn’t know how to answer that.
“I feel my time in baseball has come and gone,” he said. “I feel like I had a great career. I had a lot of fun and have a lot of great memories.
“At one point in time, I’ll be able to tell it all. Right now that’s in the past. I see things differently. I more want to help.”
Bonds had a similar answer when asked about his chances of making the Hall of Fame.
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“I’ve made a statement on how I felt about it and I stand behind the decision I made at the time” said Bonds, who received 54% of the vote in most recent Hall of Fame balloting – his best showing yet – but has just five years remaining on the ballot to reach the 75% required for enshrinement.
“To keep talking about it doesn’t help.”
The 10-year wait is over. Bonds believes the time away from the organization helped him grow and mature into a better person.
“The timing is just right,” he said. “Sometimes I believe you need to get away from the game as a player and just regroup on everything, think about all that’s gone on, what’s gone on around you.”