Miami Marlins: Lack of Work Ethic Cost Barry Bonds His Job

The Miami Marlins fired Barry Bonds as hitting coach, as the franchise will move in a different direction. Through a new report, the reasoning behind Bonds’ dismissal is more clear.

The Miami Marlins dismissed Barry Bonds after just one season with the team. It was his first season serving as a major league coach, and it seemed Bonds could land another coaching job if he wanted it.

Now, that perception may change.

As Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Bonds showed a lack of work ethic during his time in Miami, which turned the franchise off. From the start, the Marlins and Bonds seemed like a strange fit. Bonds wanted a job in baseball and he found one, far away from the drama that surrounded his playing career. But hiring Bonds was not manager Don Mattingly‘s call. This could have created friction, as managers often have the ability to pick their own coaching staff.

Looking back, Mattingly didn’t wait long to point out that Frank Menechino was doing a majority of the work. In April, Mattingly called Bonds “a work in progress from the standpoint of the amount of time and preparation. You see Frankie [Menechino] still doing a lot of the prep work. Barry is still getting into the routine of the ugly side of coaching: being here at 1 and studying video, studying on the plane and you don’t get a chance to watch movies, things like that.”

Mattingly then added, “It just depends how good you want to be as a coach. If you want to be a really good coach, you’ve got to do the work.”

Mattingly was reportedly prepared to go as far as to quit if Bonds was retained, according to the New York Post. The Post report makes the situation abundantly clear, that this was a fractured relationship. If the Marlins chose Bonds instead of Mattingly, they would have had to endure a search for another new manager, and then force Bonds onto said manager as a hitting coach once again. That never seemed likely, and of course did not happen.

As it pertains to Bonds, this is another hit to his reputation. Many people have opinions and beliefs on how Bonds conducted his playing career, but he had a fresh start to his career as a coach. It clearly did not go well.

This leads to the question: Will Bonds resurface on another team’s coaching staff?

There are certainly teams who could look to make a change at hitting coach. Bonds has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to hitting, which seemingly would translate well to coaching young players. But the story out of Miami could make all of Bonds’ appeal a moot point. Despite his knowledge, experience, and success as a player, if Bonds isn’t willing to put the work in as a coach, he becomes more of a liability than an asset.

At best, perhaps a team could bring Bonds on in an advisory role, like the Oakland Athletics did with Ron Washington in 2015 before Washington was promoted to third base coach this year. But if Bonds won’t do the necessary work to help his hitters succeed, it would be hard for a team to rely on Bonds as its hitting coach.