In New Gig, Mattingly Gets His Number One: Barry Bonds

Through much of his tenure with the Dodgers, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly had as his hitting coach the guy widely considered to be through the annals of baseball history perhaps the second worst abuser of performance enhancing drugs, Mark McGwire. As hitting coach, McGwire was unable to employ his secrets of success as a player – illegal steroids, testosterone compounds and human growth hormones – and thus Dodgers’ hitters over and over underachieved, especially young players who never progressed despite significant natural talent.

Well, when the parting of the ways came and mattingly moved southeast to his new gig with the Miami Marlins, McGwire said “ga-bye” to mattingly as he chose to remain in SoCal, with new employment in San Diego. So, where was mattingly to find a hitting coach for his new team, a hitting coach with credentials to match those of McGwire? Well, there’s

a no brainer: when number two is no longer available, go after number one! And he DID!

Ladies and gentlemen, fresh from the end of a lengthy legal battle that could have and should have resulted in an engagement in a nice, comfortable federal institution, the Miami Marlins’ new hitting coach, America’s favorite giant-headed drug-addled miscreant, one Barry Bonds.
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Seriously?

There is speculation that Bond’s real purpose in taking this position is the mistaken belief that subjecting himself to the media exposure that it will include would enhance his currently non-existent chance of ever being voted into the Hall of Fame. Barry, really? Just look at McGwire, whose coaching work has coincided with yearly decreases in his HOF vote count.

Also of interest will be Bond’s reaction when Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria starts telling him how to do his job. Bonds, whose intolerance for fans and for the press throughout his career was legendary, now finds himself in a situation where the team owner’s second home through his 12 year ownership regime has been the team’s clubhouse, and not for the purpose of high-fiving happy players after victories. No, Loria has made it a regular thing to tell managers (mattingly is number ten over those 12 years), coaches and players how to manage, how to coach, how to throw a slider, and how to hit a curveball, and that last one could conceivably cause a problem or two with the ever-pleasant Bonds whose arrogance as a player was as ever-present as was his steroid-induced hydrocephalus.

We hear a collision coming, and it won’t be pretty.

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