Six seasons removed from donning the uniform for the San Francisco Giants as a player, Barry Bonds will return to the team this year.

A young Hunter Pence played against Barry Bonds early in his career. Image from MLB 210x300 San Francisco Giants hire Barry Bonds as a hitting coach

A young Hunter Pence played against Barry Bonds early in his career. (Image from the AP)

This time around, Bonds will be a special hitting instructor at Spring Training for the team.  Barry Bonds has always expressed an interest in helping players.  He did not seem interested in becoming a full-time coach, partly due to the time commitment required.

The San Francisco Giants are a franchise that often sees Willie Mays around the team as well as more recent players like Will Clark and Bonds’ former teammate Jeff Kent.  There are two current Giants  who played with Bonds, starting pitchers Matt Cain and Tim LincecumHunter Pence, current right fielder with the ball club, played against Barry Bonds as a member of the Houston Astros.  “When I was a rookie or in my second year I was like, ‘Holy cow, Barry Bonds is hitting and I have to play defense”.

Buster Posey is ready to take advantage of having Barry Bonds around the team in spring training. Image from MLB 202x300 San Francisco Giants hire Barry Bonds as a hitting coach

Buster Posey is ready to take advantage of having Barry Bonds around the team in spring training. (Image from MLB

Pence and Giants catcher Buster Posey are looking forward to having the seven-time National League MVP around  next month.  “It’s exciting to be able to listen, just kind of watch and see what kind of stuff you can pick up,” Posey said. “From talking to people who played either with him or coached when he played, everybody talks about how he always had a very simple approach.  I think everybody can take something from that, because sometimes we tend to over complicate things”.  Hunter Pence added, “Especially since he’s here, take advantage of everything you can”.

The return to the field as a coach will mark the end of Barry Bonds’ exile from the San Francisco Giants.  True, he had been seen at team sponsored events over the last six years.  This return to a more visible position, in uniform, could be the teams way of saying that enough time has passed since the BALCO scandal.  Even in 2014, Barry Bonds cannot dodge questions about steroid and human growth hormone use during his playing career.  To avoid a media circus surrounding Bonds’ time as a hitting coach, the team has not disclosed when he will be at their Scottsdale, Arizona complex.  They are only admitting he has been hired and saying he would be attending spring training camp sometime in March.

Will Barry Bonds have fans smiling now that he is back with the San Francisco Giants as a coach SI Image San Francisco Giants hire Barry Bonds as a hitting coach

Will Barry Bonds have fans smiling now that he is back with the San Francisco Giants as a hitting coach? (Image from Sports Illustrated)

Could this be the start of an image intervention and rehabilitation for Barry Bonds?  Is baseball’s tainted all-time home run leader ready to confess in ways that Mark McGuire did?  It took Pete Rose 14 years to confess his sins.  Maybe Barry Bonds only needs half that amount of time.

 San Francisco Giants hire Barry Bonds as a hitting coach