Jeffrey Loria is the most despised team owner in Major League Baseball, not just among local fans — whom he's spent years antagonizing via brutally bad rosters and a highway-robbery stadium deal — but also among fellow owners and league officials. Barry Bonds, meanwhile, left the game in 2007 as one of its most widely hated players thanks to the BALCO steroid scandal and his surly reputation.
In other words, Bonds and Loria might just be a match made in baseball heaven. Which is why it's not so shocking that Loria is reportedly close to a deal to bring Bonds on as the Marlins' new hitting coach.
The move has sent baseball writers — the same ones who have so far kept Bonds out of the Hall of Fame over his steroid use — atwitter with speculation about the move.
About Bonds as MIA coach: Tony Gwynn always said Barry Bonds knew more about hitting than anybody. Next question: Can Bonds teach it?— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 1, 2015
The biggest surprise wouldn't be if the #Marlins extend offer to Barry Bonds to join staff, but if he took the job, leaving beloved Bay Area— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 1, 2015
The early consensus seems to be that if Bonds wants the job, the Marlins wouldn't be dumb to offer it to him. After all, Bonds was well on track for a Hall of Fame career even before he jumped on the mid-90s steroid bandwagon.
Jokes aside, Barry Bonds is the best player I've ever seen, so if he's up for coaching, he could help. Dude was HOF w/o PEDs.— Will Manso (@WillManso) November 30, 2015
But if there's little doubt about Bonds' natural hitting skills, there's plenty of question about his temperament. Bonds was infamous in his playing days for being one of the most prickly personalities around.
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"It sounds like people need to be reminded that job description entails the ability to build and maintain relationships," an anonymous baseball exec told CBS Sports. "And the willingness to do it every day! Not just when you're in a decent mood or feeling good."
Big picture: The move, assuming it goes through, looks like vintage Loria, who loves making splashy managerial hires that explode in his face within a few months. Don't forget that Ozzie Guillen was supposed to be the franchise's savior before he admitted his love for Fidel Castro and the squad fell to pieces.
Who knows, the move might just be a precursor to an even bigger Loria shock. This morning, ESPN's Buster Olney recirculated his column calling on the Fish to consider our own hometown steroid kingpin Alex Rodriguez as manager material down the line.
If Bonds becomes hitting coach and A-Rod becomes the next manager, I figure people's heads would asplode. https://t.co/Y6fQOMpxim— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) December 1, 2015