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Former all-star Barry Bonds says he wants to be the Giants' hitting coach

Former San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds was among several former players who threw out ceremonial pitches during the NLCS.
Former San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds was among several former players who threw out ceremonial pitches during the NLCS. (/David J. Phillip/asscoaited Press)

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By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 29, 2010; 12:57 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - As an organization, the San Francisco Giants have adopted a middle-of-the-road approach to Barry Bonds since the former slugger's playing days ended in 2007. They haven't wiped his existence from their institutional memory, as the New York Yankees essentially have done with Roger Clemens, but nor have they fully embraced him or his legacy.

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Suddenly, though, in the World Series, Bonds is everywhere. He sat, conspicuous in a black leather jacket, in the front row near the Giants' dugout during Game 1, then made waves by suggesting to local media members that he wouldn't mind being the Giants' hitting coach.

"I have a gift," Bonds told the reporters, when asked about the possibility of becoming the Giants' hitting coach, "and sooner later I've got to give it away. I have to share it, and hopefully I'll get the opportunity here."

The Giants, of course, already have a hitting coach, Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens, and on Thursday, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy was full of praise for him.

"Bam Bam has got a great way of working with all the players, and keeping them positive and believing," Bochy said. "I think he's done a great job."

Although Bonds was part of a contingent of 2002 Giants that threw out ceremonial pitches during the National League Championship Series, he was not asked to do so in either of the first two World Series games here.

Bonds signed a 10-year personal services contract with the Giants, which would ensure a position for him in the organization following his retirement. However, Bonds has not officially submitted retirement papers with the league, and told reporters Wednesday that he had no official role with the Giants.

His trial on perjury charges, stemming from the investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative alleged steroids ring, is scheduled to begin in March.

Shuffling the outfield

Once again, the lack of a DH in the NL park has forced the American League manager to make a difficult decision, as Rangers skipper Ron Washington benched regular cleanup hitter Vladimir Guerrero for Game 2 after Guerrero, normally his DH, botched several balls in right field in Game 1.

"It had nothing to do with anything that happened out there," Washington said, "because Vlad didn't do anything out there that I have never seen another baseball player do in right field."

With Guerrero on the bench, Washington shifted Nelson Cruz from left field to right (his regular position) and inserted David Murphy in left.

Murphy "has been a big part of our success," Washington said, "and just as I didn't want to sit Vlad for two days, I certainly don't want to sit Murph for two days. . . . If we come back here for Games 6 and 7, you will see Vlad in there for one of those games and you'll see Murph there for the other one."

In discussing the Guerrero decision in a broader sense, Rangers President Nolan Ryan bemoaned the split rules regarding DH usage in the World Series and advocated eliminating the DH altogether.

"We have a [player] we've gone out and [acquired] strictly for that position as a DH," Ryan said, "and [the Giants] don't have that, because they play a different game. I'm not in agreement with that."


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