Home run king Barry Bonds hired as Marlins hitting coach

MIAMI (AP) — Steroids-tainted home run king Barry Bonds is returning to baseball full time as hitting coach for the Miami Marlins.

He’ll join the staff of new manager Don Mattingly, the Marlins said Friday.

Bonds, 51, whose playing career ended in 2007, has worked in recent years as a guest instructor for the San Francisco Giants in spring training. He’s the career leader in home runs with 762 and a seven-time NL MVP.

The Marlins are in the market for hitting advice. They finished next to last in the majors in runs in 2015, when they went 71-91. Among the players Bonds will tutor is $325 million slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

The team’s hitting coach last year, Frank Menechino, will return as assistant hitting coach. Miami hired Juan Nieves as pitching coach and Lorenzo Bundy as outfield-base running coach.

Another slugger whose career was tarnished by steroids, Mark McGwire, was hired this week as bench coach of the San Diego Padres. McGwire previously was hitting coach for Mattingly for three years when both were with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Federal prosecutors pursued a case against Bonds for nearly a decade before dropping what remained of their criminal case in July. Because of the taint of steroids, he has come up short in Hall of Fame balloting.

Nearly a year ago, in his third try on the ballot, Bonds received 202 votes for 37 percent from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. A player must receive at least 75 percent to be elected.

Like Bonds, McGwire has fallen far short of election. Support for McGwire has declined since he began coaching, and last year he received his lowest vote total yet, 10 percent.

In 2010, McGwire admitted he used steroids when he broke baseball’s single-season home run record by hitting 70 in 1998.