The news that Barry Bonds plans, tentatively at least, to accept the Marlins offer to be their hitting coach has the hot stove sizzling. Which is totally understandable.
Barry Bonds is a big famous — infamous, even — name and he’s been out of baseball for a long time. That he seems to be getting back in the game, then, is understandably interesting.
That he seems to be heading to the Marlins — not exactly an expected destination — is likewise interesting.
But how interesting is it? And does it really matter, both for Bonds and for the Marlins? And if so, how much? Let’s do a quick Q&A about it, shall we?
Q: Bonds is one of the greatest hitters of all time. That should make him an amazing hitting coach, right?
A: Not necessarily. The guy thought to be one of the best hitting coaches in history — Charlie Lau — had an OPS+ of 89 for his career across 11 almost totally bench-riding seasons in the bigs. Many of the other top hitting coaches in baseball history were likewise scrubeenies of one flavor or another. Same goes for pitching coaches, by the way, while many of the ex-superstars that got into the coaching biz didn’t last long and didn’t have a lot of success.
Indeed, there appears to be no correlation at all and at least some anecdotal disconnection between playing prowess and coaching prowess, possibly because that which comes naturally to a superstar is hard to communicate to someone not as gifted. Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Bob Gibson coached. None of them changed the coaching game by their presence.
READ MORE AT HardballTalk.com