© Sergio Estrada | USA Today
Barry Bonds will have his number retired by the Giants this Saturday. In light of the ceremony, manager Bruce Bochy has been recalling his times coaching Bonds – and coaching against him.
First, Bochy remembered Bonds’s unique pregame routine.
“In my first year here, my year with Barry, a lot of guys are hitting in the cage and getting ready,” Bochy said. “Barry would sit right there and watch the starting pitcher. He would watch him and that’s what he thought was important, to get that locked in; his head, the delivery and arm slot, watching his different pitches. It’s pretty impressive, that’s how he got ready. He wasn’t taking 50 or 100 swings down there, it was by watching the pitcher.”
But when Bochy had to coach against Bonds, the memories weren’t as fond.
“I didn’t like him,” Bochy said. “No, it just seemed like he came up every inning. When you’re in the other dugout, obviously he’s a guy you always talk about, can’t let him beat you. But he beat us a lot. And the more careful we would tell our pitchers to be, the more mistakes we would make.”
Bochy couldn’t recall a good way to deal with the double-edged sword of facing Bonds versus intentionally walking him.
“Yeah, we (intentionally walked him),” Bochy said. “We probably didn’t do it enough. You look at his numbers against us, of course I was getting hit on quite a bit. If he hit a home run, why I didn’t walk him. We could’ve had an eight-run lead and nobody on and I should’ve walked him.”