Daily Buzz: Barry Bonds is still a slugger

Barry Bonds says he hasn't slowed down yet -- when it comes to his bat, that is.

Chris Carlson

All-time home run king Barry Bonds is a few months shy of 50 years old, and in the six years since his retirement, he’s shedded much of the bulk that was the source of so much power and controversy over the years.

But if you think the guy can’t still rake, well, has he got news for you.

Bonds, who was recently brought on for a week as a special hitting instructor with the San Francisco Giants, took a few swings during BP at Giants spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Sunday, and according to those who were there, Mr. 762 has still got it.

“He looked better than he did before,” Giants BP pitcher John Yandle told the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s still got the swing down.”

According to the Mercury News, Bonds “hit rope after rope,” at the back field at Scottsdale Stadium, “and on his last few swings unloaded some massive blasts into the adjoining neighborhood.” Of course, never one to be shy about his own abilities, Bonds said he knew he had it in him.

“Yeah, easy, no worries,” he told the paper. “Maybe in about 5-6 more years I’ll start to slow down. But today ain’t the day.”

With that kind of confidence and that kind of stroke, one might even take the leap and suggest that Bonds, even as a near-quinquagenarian, could still play today. But Bonds was quick to point out that, even if the swing is still there, his wheels have long since left him.

“I felt like I needed to put on my No. 25 and go out there and play,” Bonds, who had 12 seasons with at least 28 stolen bases, said after the brief BP session. “I just couldn’t run. But I can still hit, though.”

Coaching, however, could be in Bonds’ future. Bonds’ stint with the Giants ended on Sunday, but manager Bruce Bochy and multiple players told the Mercury News that they appreciated Bonds’ insight during his time with the team.

“I learned a lot of things from him, and just having him here was exciting,” Pablo Sandoval told the Mercury News. “He’s one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. With me, he didn’t want to change my approach. He just wanted me to focus on being ready to hit.”

And if the Giants will have him back, it sounds like Bonds would be more than eager to give a few pointers and take a few swings again.

“I don’t know,” Bonds said. “It’s up to them, it’s up to Bochy, it’s up to the guys. It doesn’t matter what I want to do. The only thing that matters is whether I brought a contribution to the team. Did the guys like it? If they didn’t like it, then this is a short story.”

Now, for some links:

• Indiana’s athletic director on the decision to end the season after not making the NIT field: “We’re Indiana, we don’t play in the CBI.”

• The Washington Nationals violated FAA rules when they used drones at spring training.

• This ought to help you get pumped for the NCAA tournament:

• Hank the Dog got a warm welcome in Milwaukee:

• A female hockey goalie and Canadian Olympic champion became the first woman to play in the SPHL, a men’s professional league.

• Florida wide receiver Andre Debose was reportedly thrown through a window during an altercation in Gainesville.

• Let’s all laugh at Terrell Davis reacting to an earthquake in LA:

• Jim Harbaugh and a walrus did pushups:

• Don’t go to J.J. Redick for bracket advice:

• There is a pro wrestling dinner theater in Orlando.

• Michigan has no plans to serve alcohol in the Big House.

• The Mets’ St. Patrick’s Day caps are a wee bit interesting:

• The Red Sox, meanwhile, celebrated with green bases:

• A Blue Jays affiliate will give away lightsabers on Star Wars Night.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves are obsessed with Flappy Bird.

• When tossing a fellow fan in the air in celebration, it is always advisable to catch said fan:

• Jaromir Jagr photobombed a fan’s selfie at the Devils-Lightning game:

• Damian Lillard did Harrison Barnes dirty:

• The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly would have been interested in hiring Phil Jackson had the Knicks not gotten to him first.

• A Wisconsin football recruit has been charged with rape.

• Patrick Beverley crossed up LeBron then dunked on Chris Bosh on Sunday:

• A few hours earlier, Rockets coach Kevin McHale was succinct in his pregame media availability:

• Here’s terrifying first-person video of a guy warding off a hungry shark:

• The Tennessee baseball team cleans the field in a hurry after BP:

• N.C. State responds to its surprising NCAA tournament selection:

• Larry Brown and the SMU Mustangs were the most notable snub in this year’s NCAA tournament.

• Metta World Peace says the Knicks asked him to blend in instead of lead.

• FAU football will have some red chrome lids this year:

• I’m all too familiar with this shot:

• T.J. Houshmandzadeh says he would have destroyed Richard Sherman. Right.

• The Stars-Blue Jackets game that was postponed when Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench has been rescheduled for April 9.

• Great sign at a British Columbia hockey rink: