Barry Bonds hasn’t attracted much attention since leaving the league in 2007, but he did resurface for a small stint as the Miami Marlins hitting coach in 2016. It lasted only one season — with good reason.
Former team president David Samson said Thursday during his weekly appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz that the Marlins’ “experiment” with MLB’s all-time home-run king lasted all of one season because working alongside Bonds was “a complete disaster,” 95.7 The Game reports.
“He had fun as a hitting coach because he would hang out with [Giancarlo] Stanton and give Stanton some pointers. But he was ineffective, completely,” Samson said. “He would sleep in the clubhouse. He would not pay attention during games. He did not work hard. It was a complete disaster.”
The former team president said he never wanted to hire Bonds in the first place because he believed Bonds would be a distraction, but he was overruled by the team owner.
The article states that Bonds was “combative in his interview, refusing to work for a penny less than his desired $1.5 million,” which was significantly higher than the standard for MLB hitting coaches.
“It was the worst interview I’ve ever been a part of,” Samson said. “Bonds was an absolute pain in the ass about pay because he knew he had the job.”
Most of Bonds’ salary was paid off the books — to hide it from other staffers — with Miami secretly depositing over $1 million into the former Giants and Pirates slugger’s private holding company, the article details.
Samson said during his time in Miami, he got upset when second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended for PEDs in 2016 and stormed out of the clubhouse.
“We’re in a team meeting, Dee is apologizing for doing steroids, or getting caught for doing steroids, and Barry Bonds, in the middle of the clubhouse, he’s standing toward the backdoor, he screams, ‘This is crap!’ and he walks out,” Samson said. “I look at [general manager] Mike Hill and I say, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Like Barry Bonds just stormed out as though he can’t believe one of the players did steroids? Is that really possible?”
The Washington Post reports that Bonds “admitted to using steroids after his personal trainer allegedly misled him into believing he was taking flaxseed oil and arthritis cream.”
95.7 The Game reports that Bonds was difficult to work with throughout his playing career and that he prioritized his success over others. Samson said that was true in Miami as well.
Bonds was drafted out of Arizona State University by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 1985 MLB June Amateur Draft.