Giants' Joc Pederson Calls Barry Bonds GOAT After Getting Advice Before 3-HR Game

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 24: Joc Pederson #23 of the San Francisco Giants hits a two-run home run against the New York Mets in the bottom of the fifth inning at Oracle Park on May 24, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson credited team legend Barry Bonds for providing him with words of wisdom ahead of his three-home run game against the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

"Just getting knowledge from such a good hitter and the way he thinks about baseball and hitting, it just helped to connect some dots to free my mind up at the plate," Pederson told reporters. "I'm not ever going to be Barry Bonds. He's the best hitter to touch a bat. But it definitely helped free my mind up in the box."

The two-time World Series champion drove in eight of the Giants' 13 runs as part of a wild 13-12 victory over the Mets.

The 30-year-old California native signed with San Francisco in March after winning titles with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves over the past two years.

Pederson provided the Giants' offense with an early boost, hitting six homers in April, but he'd gone cold in May. He entered Tuesday's game with an .073 average (4-of-55) and one HR this month.

He explained his conversation with Bonds, who serves as a special adviser to the club, started in the clubhouse alongside teammate LaMonte Wade Jr. and then shifted to an office ahead of the game's 6:45 p.m. PT start.

"The next thing you know it was like 6:25 p.m. and I was like, 'I gotta go,'" Pederson said.

Whatever Bonds said worked as Pederson finished with four hits, adding a game-tying single in the ninth inning to his three longballs. The Giants won the game on a walk-off single by Brandon Crawford.

Bonds is one of the most decorated players to ever step on a baseball field.

His accolades include seven National League MVP Awards, 14 All-Star selections, eight Gold Glove Awards and two batting titles. His 762 home runs and 2,558 walks are both the most in MLB history.

His Hall of Fame candidacy generated ample debate because of his links to the BALCO scandal.

Bonds never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a MLB-administered test, but an indictment as part of his perjury case included evidence of a positive test for anabolic steroids in November 2000.

That link to PEDs was a key factor as Bonds' 10th year on the Hall of Fame ballot ended in January without being enshrined. He could still be one day elected for the HOF via an Era Committee.

Regardless of whether he ever lands in Cooperstown, his success at the plate makes him one of the greatest hitters ever and, based on his advice to Pederson, it appears he still knows a thing or two about how to attack modern pitching.