For a team that prides itself on talent, adoring and devoted fans and the sheer fun of baseball, the San Francisco Giants are making a mistake just flirting with the possibility of adding Barry Bonds to their payroll once more.
During a 35-minute press conference that was held outside the Giant’s club house last Sunday before the final game in a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Barry Bonds spilled to reporters that he has been in talks with President and CEO Larry Baer about working with the team in the near future, according to CBSSports.com.
Although things have yet to be finalized and there is no word on whether or not Bonds will indeed hold a position with the team, it’s a ludicrous idea to even imagine.
Bonds, 47, has just filed an appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this past month in an attempt to have his obstruction of justice conviction overturned (via Fox Sports).
Let’s not forget that Bonds, who was charged with using performance enhancing steroids in 2003, got off with a slap-on-the-wrist conviction of one count of obstruction of justice.
In an eight-year court battle to prove Bonds indeed knowingly used steroids, the 14 time All-Star skirted around juror’s questions and vehemently denied the allegations.
Now, the man who has been the face of much public scrutiny due to the BALCO scandal, wants a job with his former team?
How can the San Francisco Giants even attempt to consider hiring him?
During the press conference, Bonds—who was charismatic and even charming—told reporters that all he knows is baseball.
“I played a long time. I gave my life and my soul, my whole body on the baseball field and I did it for 22 years,” Bonds said (via CSNBayArea).
There’s no doubt that Bonds devoted his life to the game. His track record proves it. In his 22 years of baseball—15 of which he sported orange and black—Bonds averaged .298, was named MVP seven times, was awarded the Gold Glove eight times and of course, hit a record 762 home runs.
Yet, despite all his accomplishments as a professional athlete, the tail end of it has been tainted by the steroid scandal.
Even Bonds admits it’s how he is associated nowadays.
"It will never go off your mind. You never forget those things. You move on (but) I'll never forget it,” he told reporters.
The question the San Francisco Giants have to ask themselves: Is this a healthy decision for the ball club?
Bonds, who repeatedly reminded reporters last Sunday that he was not convicted of using steroids, said that he would be willing to work for the club as a roving coach—one who works with both the minor league players as well as the major league players, according to CBSSports.
“If you believe that I can contribute and help the organization, then fine. If you don’t, I still love you,” Bonds told reporters from the Mercury News.
The question is not about whether or not Bonds can contribute his self-proclaimed expertise, but whether it’s right for him to coach young players—as well as seasoned players—on anything given his scandal.
Yes, Mark McGwire admitted to taking steroids and is currently the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. But the difference between McGwire and Bonds is that the former came clean about using steroids. It took him a while to admit it but he did.
Bonds, on the other hand, continues to insist that this wasn’t the case with him and thus continues to be shadowed by the allegations, BALCO and his trial. With this, how can he possibly benefit the San Francisco Giants when the drama of his past continues to be a hot topic with the media and fans alike?
Bonds will be a distraction to the team if they agree to add him on as any sort of current member of the organization. The public image he has created for himself continues to be one of selfish need rather than beneficial to the organization. Even if it’s the new-found, cheery-cycling-enthusiast Bonds is currently playing.
The press conference is proof of that.
Why bother touting about shallow rumors when there’s no depth or certainty to them? Why bother even trying to explain your past actions as a teammate who had a stand-offish persona?
None of this was beneficial for the team. All of it was for the benefit of Bonds himself.
Just as he constantly reiterated that he was not convicted of steroids, he is constantly taking the focus off the team and on to him.
Until the shadow of his steroid scandal subsides, the San Francisco Giants should not offer Bonds a contract of any kind.