Alex Rodriguez has enlisted some powerful help as he continues his trek toward returning to the New York Yankees' lineup.
Rodriguez is training with San Francisco Giants legend and all-time MLB home run leader Barry Bonds, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The controversial duo has been working together at Future Prospects, an instructional facility in San Rafael, Calif. The situation will undoubtedly spawn jokes all over the Internet and beyond, but let's take a second to review the impact Bonds has had on some of his recent pupils.
Dexter Fowler, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs earlier on Tuesday, posted the second-best on-base percentage of his career in 2014, his first season away from Coors Field. Another year like that could result in a nice payday for Fowler, whom Bonds has tutored for the past two offseasons.
Michael Morse, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford -- all key parts of the Giants' championship run last season -- also worked with Bonds in spring training a year ago, Shea notes. Despite all of the negative attention that has swirled around Bonds for the last decade-plus, perhaps he isn't the worst option as a workout partner for major leaguers.
Rodriguez, 39, sat out all of season after being suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. In 2013, Rodriguez hit .244/.348/.423, good for an OPS+ of 113, in 181 plate appearances. The above-average offensive performance would have ranked first among all Yankees right-handed hitters with that many plate appearances or more in 2014.