Barry Bonds, baseball’s home run king and one of the game’s most polarizing figures, is joining the Miami Marlins as hitting coach, the team announced Friday.
The Marlins finalized manager Don Mattingly’s 2016 coaching staff, naming five new coaches and returning four coaches from 2015.
Bonds will work alongside Frank Menechino, who returns as the team’s assistant hitting coach. The two men were nearly polar opposites in their playing careers.
Menechino was a light-hitting utility infielder who amassed 36 home runs in seven major league seasons. Bonds was a seven-time Most Valuable Player and an eight-time Gold Glove winner whose 762 home runs and 2,558 walks are the sport’s all-time standards. Bonds played 22 seasons in the majors, making the All-Star team 14 times and winning 12 Silver Slugger Awards.
Bonds led the majors in home runs three times, including setting the single-season record with 73 in 2001 and was a two-time batting champion (2002, 2004).
Bonds, 51, last played in the majors in 2007, unable to find a team to sign him due to a cloud of reports regarding his longtime use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The San Francisco Giants, for whom he played the final 15 years of his career, brought Bondsback to serve as a spring training instructor in 2014 and 2015. Aside from those stints, he largely has been outside of the game while fighting to clear his name from legal charges stemming from his ties to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
Initially convicted of obstruction of justice in 2011, Bonds had the conviction overturned earlier this year.
The PED charges are a major reason why Bonds has not come close to election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in three years on the ballot.
The Marlins also named Tim Wallach as bench coach, Juan Nieves as pitching coach, Brian Schneider as catching coach and Lorenzo Bundy as outfield/baserunning coach. Also returning from the 2015 staff are first base/infield coach Perry Hill, third base coach Lenny Harris and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius.
Wallach was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bench coach under Mattingly the past two seasons after three seasons as their hitting coach. During his major league career, Wallach was a five-time All-Star, playing 17 seasons as a third baseman with Montreal (1980-92), the Dodgers (1993-96) and the Los Angeles Angels (1996).
Nieves recently served as the pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox from 2013 until May 2015. He joined the Red Sox after 14 seasons as a coach in the Chicago White Sox organization.
Schneider joins the Marlins’ coaching staff after two seasons as the manager at Class A Jupiter, his first coaching stint. A former catcher, he played in the majors for 13 seasons.
Bundy served as the Dodgers’ third base coach for the 2014-15 seasons following three seasons as the organization’s Triple-A manager.Like Sports News on Facebook: