Barry Bonds laments pariah status in MLB: 'A death sentence. That's what they've given me'

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds looks on during a ceremony celebrating the career of retiring manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants after the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 29, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Barry Bonds is always welcome in San Francisco, but not much else. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Barry Bonds probably knows that — with only 60.7% of the vote and only two BBWAA elections to go — he is not going to be elected to the Hall of Fame barring a miracle.

That election is just one part of a baseball great’s post-retirement life. However, in a long-ranging interview with The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, Bonds indicated he feels like he’s missing out on a whole lot more as he sits in his awkward place in baseball history as a legend that no one wants to keep around.

Bonds is currently working as a week-long instructor at the San Francisco Giants’ spring training camp.

Barry Bonds says his heart is broken by MLB exile

From The Athletic:

“I feel like a ghost,” he said, his eyes locked on some distant point. “A ghost in a big empty house, just rattling around.”

And then: “A death sentence. That’s what they’ve given me.”

A bit later: “My heart, it’s broken. Really broken.”

Major League Baseball was a part of Bonds’ life since childhood, when he would visit his father Bobby in the Giants clubhouse. Since retirement, Bonds’ only permanent on-field job in the league has been his hitting coach stint with the Miami Marlins in 2016, which ended after one season with his firing.

Bonds now works as a special advisor to the Giants, who retired his number in 2018. However, many of the responsibilities of that job are reportedly to meet with sponsors and suite-holders. According to Giants manager Gabe Kapler, Bonds wants a role more influential on the modern game:

“I think he wants to be looked at as someone who wants to share an incredible amount of knowledge and has done things that we all wish we could do,” Kapler said. “I’m really happy to hear that he opened up the way he did. And we need to listen. We need to give him a platform to share and help.”

Acknowledging that he would do things differently off the field in his career if given the chance to rewind everything, Bonds complained of irrelevance that not even entering the Hall of Fame would fix.

“If they don’t want me, just say you don’t want me and be done with it,” he said. “Just be done with it.”

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