Mar 9, 2020 - Sports

Barry Bonds: "I feel like a ghost"

Barry Bonds

Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly caught up with 55-year-old Barry Bonds, who was a guest instructor at the Giants' camp last week.

Why it matters: For much of his public life, the controversial slugger ran from his vulnerable moments, but Baggarly discovered a changed Bonds — "feeling older, feeling ostracized, feeling less relevant" — who was ready to open up.

On his legacy: "I feel like a ghost in a big empty house, just rattling around. ... A death sentence, that's what they've given me. ... My heart, it's broken. Really broken."

  • "I know what I did out there. I know what I accomplished between those lines. It's outside those lines that I would have done some things different."

On today's hitters, who are increasingly being coached to use an uppercut swing, prioritize launch angle and avoid ground balls.

  • "Never in my lifetime would I ever think like that. Never. My dad and Willie [Mays] would kill me. Like they told me, 'Hit the ball in the air and it takes one guy to get you out. Hit one on the ground and you got two chances.'"
  • "But I don't blame these guys. If you can hit .220 and strike out 200 times and hit 25 home runs and someone's going to give you $200 million, man, I'm going to hit .220 and strike out 200 times and I'm getting $200 million."

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