Excerpted from Episode 78, Thomas and Danny discuss the pros and cons of Barry Bonds’ potential return to the Giants in a coaching role.
- Episode 78: Back in (Orange and) BlackÂ is out!
In the seventy-eighth episode, Thomas and Danny score press passes to AT&T Park and recap the last two weeks, Barry Bonds’ visit to the park and potential coaching job, and Danny crows about Gregor Blanco.
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In the offseason after the 2006 season, the Giants were reeling. Only 3 years after a wire-to-wire season ending in playoff humiliation, they finished just 76-85, good enough for 3rd place, and just half a game above the 4th and 5th place teams. Their ace pitcher Jason Schmidt was leaving for the hated LA Dodgers, leaving the team without a strong pitcher to lead their staff. Noah Lowry, the Giants’ rookie phenom, had spent the year fighting injuries, and his future looked uncertain. Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez were years away from hitting their stride as starting pitchers, and Brian Wilson was an unknown quantity, playing 7th-fiddle to a bullpen led by closer Armando Benitez, who needs no introduction to fans who remember those dark years.
Meanwhile, the front office was facing the unwelcome but inevitable retirement of Barry Bonds, the greatest baseball player of the modern era, who had yet to get himself a World Series ring. Bonds had just come off his first full season without being in the top of MVP voting in 16 seasons (he sat out injured most of 2005), and his mortality was starting to show itself.