Thursday, October 29, 2015
DANGEROUS: BARRY BONDS AS OUR NEXT HITTING COACH?
I like crazy and off the wall ideas. In fact, I encourage them but sometimes you hear something that makes your mouth drop and shake your head. Some ideas just don't make sense and some lead you to believe that the person proposing the idea is just damn crazy. Well.....last night I came across something that made say "that is just damn crazy!"
So I came across an article on Vice Sports and the title alone made my head spin, you can check it our for yourself HERE. Barry Bonds for the next Yankees hitting coach....anyone on board with that? Not to ruffle any feathers here, but I just can't get on board with this.
Did the Yankees crash and burn this season? Yes, they did. The Yankees did not hit and could not score runs. As a result, hitting coach Jeff Pentland has already been released. I absolutely agree with that perspective. However, when it comes to the idea of hiring a "hitting guru" that commands respect....I do not think of Bonds being that person. He certainly has a lot of respect and admiration from Alex Rodriguez, but that is not the whole team.
The Yankees have a great tradition of pride and respect. Ownership has always been very critical of how our players look and conduct themselves and that is no different of our coaching staff. Bonds had a great talent, I won't disagree. He had an amazing career and holds many hitting records including many hitting records like most career home runs and most in a single season. He had a gift, but he will also always have a reputation as baseball's central figure in the steroids saga. He is the definition of controversy.
ARod and Bonds have bonded, and Vice Sports did a great job by showing that. But there is one part that I really disagree with. ARod and Bonds both have made mistakes that have put blemishes on their careers. Both are great hitters, but both have cheated and will always have that "asterisk" associated with their names. They will both be remembered as great hitters that could have gone into the hall of fame with only their natural talent. These two have a bond, but is this really someone the Yankees should have as a mentor to the team?
Again, I am not trying to point fingers or call out Vice Sports. We like controversial ideas here at BYB. However, in this case I cannot possibly imagine this as a viable option. I think bringing Bonds into this as a leader and mentor would be a mistake. At the end of the day, he made some bad choices. The Yankees are currently in a youth movement. We need someone who can mentor these kids and teach them the best techniques to succeed. We need to teach them the right way to play Yankee baseball and to value the integrity of the game. One could say this move would be unethical.
The last thing I want to see is Bonds mentoring Greg Bird on how to hit an inside pitch. In the back of my mind, I would always be questioning his motives, and his techniques.
The Yankees always have a spotlight on them. We are always referred to as the "Evil Empire" or the team that "buys" our championships, so do we want to be the team that has both players and coaches alike that have been linked to steroid use? What kind of message does that send to baseball fans everywhere? What does it say to young kids everywhere? The Yankees.....our players and coaches use steroids and you can too? It's about sending the right message and setting the right example.
A coach can be defined many ways. To me, respect and integrity have to be a part of that equation. Bonds compromised his integrity as well as the integrity of the game. Since integrity was compromised it is hard to respect someone who does not follow the rules or find ways to cheat the system. These are two traits that a coach needs to have, and I personally would never be able to overlook these flaws and I would not want them mentoring a new, and young team. It just sends the wrong message.
The next Yankee hitting coach is out there, and I have faith that the Yankees will find him and they will be the right person for the job. In fact, read 5 BRILLIANT OPTIONS FOR YANKEE HITTING COACH and COULD POSADA BE OUR NEXT HITTING COACH? for our ideas if you haven't already. Perception and character are going to be necessary qualities for the next hitting coach. This isn't something to take lightly, and the Yankees have some good options out there. I like controversy, but I don't want it mentoring my team. That's just my take though. Comment and tell us yours.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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