• September 27, 2023

Ryan Howard Seeks Hitting Advice From Barry Bonds

Despite having the greatest career start of any power hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, Ryan Howard knows that he can do better, so he sought out the counsel of another great MLB slugger, Barry Bonds.

Yes you got that right, Howard sought advice from Barry “The Devil Himself” Bonds.¬† Of course, I’m using that name sarcastically because so many people try to characterize Bonds as being such an evil person.

I don’t look at him that way.¬† Just because somebody doesn’t like the media doesn’t mean they’re a bad person.¬† Refusing to do interviews isn’t evil.

Bonds let the news out that he had worked with Howard, this past weekend in San Francisco when he attended an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Giants’ ballpark and their 2000 NL West title.

Marcus Hayes wrote an article on Philly.com about the work Bonds did with Howard during the month of January in Florida, to help him reduce his strikeouts and be more consistent.

They talked about working together on how close Howard should stand to the plate.

“What [Bonds] told me was, find that spot where you’re comfortable. I know Charlie’s told me to move a little bit closer,” Howard said. “Some games I’ve been closer, some games I’ve been further away.¬† It’s finding a comfort zone in between.”

Bonds worked with him on always being in position to hit the ball hard to right, center or leftfield.

“We talked about upper body, just keeping it straight. Sometimes you get too closed off and you can’t see,” Howard said. “Sometimes, you get too open and you pull off. Being able to hit pitches each way; [opposite field], up the middle and being able to pull the ball, from the exact same position.”

“The one thing about him was just being in the ready position early and seeing the ball.”

Howard’s manager, Charlie Manuel and hitting coach Milt Thompson were all in favor of him working with Bonds.¬† So far it looks like the work with Bonds has helped Howard, who has started out the season on fire.

He seems to be more patient and disciplined as a hitter.

Through seven games, Howard is amongst the league leaders in home runs with three, runs batted in with eleven and batting average at .375.

Howard said he didn’t get caught into the controversy that surrounds Bonds.¬†¬† If Mark McGuire can be a hitting coach, why can’t Bonds do the same.

I believe Bonds used steroids to enhance his performance.  It was wrong and I believe he  should own up to it, in much the same way as  McGuire did recently.

Still I believe Bonds was one of the greatest baseball players ever and I think it was wise of Howard to seek him out.

I believe Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame because he had hit over 500 home runs and earned three MVP awards before there was ever any question of him using steroids.

What do you think about Bonds?  Do you think Howard should have sought advice from him?


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April 13, 2010 8:32 am

As long as the advice did not include putting needles in his butt no issues here. I agree with the article’s assessment of Bonds. If Ryan can indeed return to his rookie form and spread the ball around and defeat the shift he becomes so much more effective.

Lancaster Eagle
Lancaster Eagle
April 13, 2010 9:19 am

I have no problem with it. Bonds knows how to hit, and Howard felt that he could learn from him. I think that’s great.

April 13, 2010 11:14 am

As the long time record holder in Home Runs and slugging % for the GreenRidge Wiffle Ball League
from the mid 70’s to early 80’s, I was the one who taught Ryan Howard on how to bat left-handed…
I know it sounds ridiculous, but he reminded me so much of myself when he was younger that I wanted to give him every edge that he could use to make it to the big leagues and to excell ….
(wonder if he still remembers me..)

April 14, 2010 2:57 am

Bonds is without a doubt a hall of fame player and when i watch Howard hit always wish he would be more like Bonds in pitch selection and of course hitting the strikes outta here !

April 16, 2010 7:20 am

Does this count as a retraction to your March article that it was “foolish” to tamper with Ryan Howard’s batting stance?