JUPITER, Fla. — Barry Bonds stood behind the cage at Roger Dean Stadium wearing a black and orange jersey with his old No. 25 on the back. As he did so often from 1993 to 2002, when he managed the Giants and Bonds broke records for them, Baker put his arm around Bonds and started to chat. This time, he did so in a Nationals jersey, a manager once again. This time, Bonds was not a player, but a fellow coach.
The Marlins hired Bonds as their hitting coach this offseason, a decision Baker said was a good one for Miami.
“Baseball needs a mind like Barry’s,” Baker said. “I just wish he wasn’t in our division. Barry sees things most people don’t see.”
Bonds was named to nine all-star games and won three MVP awards under Baker’s watch, and helped lead the Giants to the 2002 World Series. Baker won three National League Manager of the Year awards while managing Bonds, of whom he has spoken highly this spring, in particular his vision and patience at the plate.
“Similar to myself, I know he could (coach), just like I always knew I could, but I never thought about being a coach,” Baker said. “Some people, that’s their life-long destination or goal. But it wasn’t his, and like I said, it wasn’t mine, either. It was the last thing on our minds probably. He can be as good as he wants to be.”
Chelsea Janes | washingtonpost.com | March 4, 2016