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Bonds to attend Giants camp as instructor

MLB's home run leader set to spend week of Spring Training as special instructor

Barry Bonds, MLB's all-time leader in home runs, will join the Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz., next month as a special instructor for the organization's young hitters, assistant general manager Bobby Evans confirmed.

Bonds, now 49, is scheduled to attend Spring Training from March 9-17, according to the San Jose Mercury News, which first reported the story.

Having played 15 of his 22 seasons in San Francisco, Bonds has been interested in helping the club since his retirement in 2007. That has yet to happen, as Bonds has dealt with backlash within the game not only for his connection to performance-enhancing drugs, but also a federal conviction for obstruction of justice during the grand jury investigation into BALCO.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was not worried about Bonds joining other former Giants greats as spring instructors.

"He's part of what we'll do here," Bochy told the Mercury News. "He's going to be part of the group of instructors, like [Will] Clark, [J.T.] Snow or [Jeff] Kent. He's going to be like the other guys and help where he can.

"I don't have any concerns."

Although Bonds has a 10-year personal services contract with the Giants, the Mercury News reported that his attendance in March would be separate.

"Collectively within the organization, we felt that given Barry's desire to continue to contribute to the Giants, we should be open-minded about giving him the same invite that we have given to other players in the past," Giants CEO and president Larry Baer told the newspaper.

Bonds certainly has the credentials, with 762 home runs, a .298/.444/.607 career line and seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards. But there's also controversy surrounding the former slugger.

Bonds has not spoken to the media at AT&T Park since May 2012, when he told reporters of his conviction: "Do I have any regrets? What happened happened. It's there. It is what it is. I live with it. I'm a convicted felon for obstruction of justice, and that's who I am. I live with it."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.
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