2016 was a season the Miami Marlins would rather forget – a season that began like a roller coaster climbing toward the apex of the hill, but ended up speeding down the other side. The fish went into the All-Star break six games over .500 and had a legitimate shot at the playoffs. But playing nine games under .500 in the second half and enduring something no team should ever have to go through will be the story of the 2016 Marlins.
Miami Marlins Fire Barry Bonds
After just one season with the team, Barry Bonds is out as the hitting coach of the Marlins; first reported by Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
sources: barry bonds is being let go by marlins
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 3, 2016
The home run king was hired to Don Mattingly’s staff in December to work alongside co-hitting coach Frank Menechino. Bonds’ personality toward the media during his playing days certainly led to questions of whether he was fit for the 162-game grind of being a coach. According to SiriusXM’s Craig Mish, Bonds and Mattingly had a falling out of sorts during the season.
Bonds was called out this summer by Mattingly on a road trip. Commitment level dwindled.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) October 3, 2016
The Marlins hit .263 as a team under Bonds, which was good for fourth in Major League Baseball. They were, however, 13th in OBP (.322), 27th in slugging (.394) and 25th in OPS (.716). Certainly some of those numbers could be put into context with Giancarlo Stanton missing 56 games and Dee Gordon’s PED suspension.
It would be a stretch to call it a coincidence that outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna posted career seasons under Bonds. Yelich (.298/.376/.483) hit 21 homers and drove in 98 runs while Ozuna (.266/.321/.452) hit 23 homers and was named an NL All-Star in 2016.
One thing that was certain, though, is Bonds didn’t lack the ability to connect with the players in the clubhouse. He was always the first person on the top step of the dugout to high-five someone after hitting a homer. Stanton and Ozuna were often seen using the Sam Bat model 2K1, Bonds’ game model from his playing days (pictured below). His relationship with Jose Fernandez during the 2016 season was well documented following the young star’s tragic death.
Third base coach Lenny Harris (MLB’s all-time pinch hit leader) was also fired by the team, while Menechino was retained.