SAN FRANCISCO — The roster was missing a big name this spring with the departure of Pablo Sandoval. The organization's list of instructors was missing a big name, too.
Barry Bonds never made it down to Scottsdale a year after reuniting with the organization, but Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said the Giants are still hoping to find a role for Bonds. Rather than focusing on a week of spring training instruction, the Giants and Bonds are trying to find a more “comprehensive” role, Baer said.
“We’ve talked back and forth with Barry about a role with the Giants,” Baer said. “He’s very interested in doing some things with the Giants to help the team on the field and represent the team in certain ways off the field, and we’re open to it, so we’re just trying to go back and forth and figure something out.”
Bonds and the Giants have not zeroed in on a specific role, and they haven’t discussed anything that would involve him being in a uniform during a game. It’s more likely that Bonds returns in a role similar to one currently taken by former Giants stars like Willie Mays and Will Clark.
“It would be along the lines of some of our other former great players, who do things with sponsors, fans and the team, where possible,” Baer said. “I think there’s a desire to see if we can put something together.”
Scheduling conflicts were in part responsible for Bonds not being available this spring, but over the past year, he has been a far more visible presence at the ballpark. Bonds originally floated the idea of a reunion at a charity luncheon before the 2014 spring and both sides went from there. As Bonds becomes more ingrained in the organization, it’s possible the Giants will choose to honor his accomplishments at AT&T Park. Asked if Bonds would get his number put up on the Wall of Fame down the third-base line, Baer said that ceremony could come soon down the line.
“We definitely want to going forward — as we get to a period where he’s been out of the game — definitely do something,” Baer said. “The wall is something we’ve been kind of working on.”