JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton and hitting coach Barry Bonds showed off their home run prowess at spring training.
What began as an exercise in hitting breaking balls Wednesday evolved into Stanton and the home run king teeing off for homers on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium.
Stanton says he hit three homers and Bonds finished with four. It wasn’t exactly a home run hitting contest, but the 26-year-old Stanton and 51-year-old Bonds held their own.
“Hit another 50-year-old out there and he’d probably snap his back in half,” Stanton said. “Either way, that was probably one of the coolest things we’ve done because we all had a good time while we were getting our work in.
“Everyone seemed to gravitate toward that field by the time we were done, so it was really cool.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly, a former AL batting champ, said he won’t take part in any drills.
“I know better,” Mattingly said. “I had one back surgery, I don’t want another one.”
Stanton was among five Marlins, most not scheduled to play on Wednesday, who went to the practice fields following batting practice for a little extra work.
The group split into two teams, with Chris Johnson, Jeff Mathis and Miguel Rojas on one team, and Christian Yelich and Stanton on the other.
To even the teams, assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino, who worked the pitching machine, suggested Bonds fill out Stanton’s team. The former player, with 762 career homers in his 22-year career, obliged.
The goal of the workout was to score as many runs as possible before hitting three balls that would generally be considered outs. Yelich and Stanton stressed it was not a home run hitting contest.
“It was just to see who could score runs and a homer scored you a run, and it kind of turned into that,” Yelich said.
It’s not the first time Bonds, who declined to comment, stepped into a drill with the players. But those instances usual happened out of public view.
“It was the first time anyone else has seen it,” Yelich said. “He’s hit with us before, but usually in the cage or something like that.”
Told to cut son’s time in clubhouse, LaRoche left White Sox: PHOENIX (AP) — Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche said he planned to retire and walk away from a $13 million salary after being told by the team president to cut down the time his son spent in the clubhouse.
Team president Kenny Williams confirmed Wednesday that he twice asked LaRoche in the last week to “dial it back” with 14-year-old son Drake.
LaRoche abruptly said Tuesday at spring training that he planned to leave the game. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said at the time it was a “personal decision” and that LaRoche was asked to reconsider.
Williams said LaRoche’s son was a “quality young kid” and wasn’t a distraction. But Williams indicated he didn’t want anything to deter the team’s focus.
The 36-year-old LaRoche hit only .207 with 12 home runs last year.
MLB won’t discipline Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig for club incident: NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball says it will not discipline Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig for his involvement in an incident in a Miami area club last November.
MLB said Wednesday it investigated and did not find any witnesses who supported an assault allegation. MLB said video evidence did not support the allegation, and Puig and his sister denied there was an assault. MLB concluded “barring the receipt of any new information or evidence, no discipline will be imposed.”
Puig was among three players investigated under the sport’s new domestic violence policy. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman agreed to a 30-game suspension without pay, and Colorado shortstop Jose Reyes was suspended with pay pending an April 4 trial on a charge of abusing his wife.