Roundtable Discussion: Marlins hire Barry Bonds as hitting coach

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With Barry Bonds set to become the latest hitting coach of the Miami Marlins, the staff of Marlin Maniac weigh in on the hiring.

What do you think about the Marlins hiring Bonds? Are you excited that he got  the position or are you hoping it doesn’t last?

Jun 28, 2015; Sonoma, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants former player Barry Bonds looks on before the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Dillon Murrell Marlin Maniac Staff Writer: I think it’s a good hire. He’s one of the best all around hitters with an excellent approach and contact skills, aside from the insane power. It’s one thing to do and another to teach, no matter how good of a player you were. I do think he’s going to be a good coach.

Charlie Clarke Marlin Maniac Staff Writer: I really like it. Barry Bonds is one of the best hitters this game has seen, steroids or not. I think he can provide a big help to the Marlins. I like the hiring of big-named coaches for the Marlins, they can only go up from where they were last year.

Mark Laming Marlin Maniac Editor: I think it’s one of those things that only time will tell. There are so many question marks about what he’s going to bring to the table. He’s never coached at any level, AAA, AA, or Single-A, let alone the majors. If they hire him, that’s fine. If they don’t, I’ll still sleep at night. No matter what they decide to do the only way you’ll know for sure is once he gets a gig how well he does in it.

Daniel Zylberkan Marlin Maniac Staff Writer: Its cool as a novelty move but honestly as a substantive thing that the team can do to improve the team I’m kind of skeptical about it. The Marlins are this point one of the hardest things to defend in my life in terms of being a fan and investing time in so yes the prospect of adding yet another ring to the circus is certainly exciting.

Sean Millerick Marlin Maniac Staff Writer: I’m excited if Don Mattingly is excited.  A very big deal was made of Mattingly being able to bring in his own staff when his hiring was announced.  If he is truly running the team in the clubhouse, and decided it might be of value to the bring in the knowledge and expertise of a player who likely would have gone to Cooperstown before taking a single vitamin supplement, I’m all for it.  If this was a ticket selling move imposed by ownership, I might as well cancel by MLB TV subscription now.  Not that it can’t be both, but in order for the team to move forward, baseball minds need to be in full control of baseball operations.  

Christian La Fontaine Marlin Maniac Staff Writer: I think it’s a fun bit of headline grabbing. As a huge Barry Bonds fan (the player, not necessarily the person) I’m excited to see him wearing my favorite teams cap.As must be said with all Loria hires, we’ll have to wait and see how long this one lasts, I;m hoping for quite awhile.

Do you think Bonds’ reputation as being a “loose cannon” and “hot-tempered” will affect his coaching style?

Oct 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds on the field before the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at Levi

Murrell: I wonder how much of that “rage” will continue, considering his playing days, and other behaviors, are behind him. I don’t think it will have any effect.

Clarke: It possibly could, but I think the Marlins will be fine. Worst case scenario the Marlins fire another coach. We’ve seen that in the past….so the Fish can’t really go down from here.

Laming: It’s definitely a red flag for somebody who will be looked to as a leader. He’s been described as “toxic” and a “bad teammate” he has a long history of having a short fuse and with hitters it’s all about patience. You don’t want one of your clubhouse leaders flying off the hook with his own players. That being said, Barry is a little older than when these incidents happened, he could’ve easily matured with age.

Zylberkan: Honestly the media has such a skewed and distorted view of Bonds that I don’t actually believe anything that they have to report regarding his personality or anything about him. In a larger sense if these reports are “true” that certainly shouldn’t be helpful in what is a essentially a instructional position where understanding personalities and working the players is key

Millerick: Yes, and I think it could be a positive.  Bonds was by many reports and accounts a miserable person to be around.  But then he got out of his personal recliner (he had one), laced up his shoes, and dared opposing pitchers to throw it anywhere near the strike zone.  A little arrogant confidence might go a long way towards some of the club’s elite talent taking that next step.  

La Fontaine: In regards to him as a  hitting coach it will likely have no affect whatsoever. At most we’ll get to enjoy a few colorful two and fros with the media, the likes of which Bonds is famous for.

How much of an influence will Bonds have on a young, impressionable hitter like Giancarlo Stanton?

Jun 24, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Murrell: Hopefully none. Stanton and Bonds profile as two very different hitters. Stanton’s swing is what is is and shouldn’t be touched. I’m not even sure he should influence Stanton’s approach much. Stanton is not someone with elite contact ability, which might make his plate discipline appear worse sometimes. Other hitters could stand to learn something from Bonds. I’m not sure Stanton does.

Clarke: I think he could help Stanton a lot. They have so much in common. Pitchers fear Stanton, he’s a pure power hitter, gets intentionally walked all the time. This could be a very cool relationship blooming in Miami.

Laming: Giancarlo is a pure home run hitter with copious power, similar to Barry. With the right teaching, Giancarlo could elevate his already elite game, whether Barry Bonds is the guy to do that or not is still to be determined.

Zylberkan: I think honestly Giancarlo is a fully formed hitter at this point. Does he have one massive hole in his swing? sure. I don’t think Barry Bonds or Ted Williams or the ghost of Rogers Hornsby could significantly change his approach or his mechanics. I would like to see Bonds work with him but there’s very little that he could actually change.  

Millerick: Calling Giancarlo young and impressionable seems like a stretch for someone who is entering his sixth full season in the Show.  That said, if anyone is going to cause a significant adjustment in his swing at this stage, I think it would have to be someone with enough baseball gravitas to command the young superstar’s attention.  Bonds certainly has the potential to qualify.  Then again, so would Pete Rose; look for him to team up with Tony Perez as a Special Assistant next year once the Commisoner’s Office reinstates him.  

La Fontaine: None at all, Stanton is 26 years old, not 6.

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