Mike Pagliarulo is going to try to do what Barry Bonds couldn’t — help the Marlins get their offense into baseball’s upper echelon.
The former Yankee third baseman has been hired to replace baseball’s all-time home run king as Miami’s hitting coach, Pagliarulo confirmed to the Daily News. The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball and FanRag Sports.
“Were it the player, that’d be different,” Pagliarulo said in a telephone interview. “But I’m replacing another coach…I feel good about the situation and what I’m going to undertake and the responsibility that goes with it.
“The goal is to have the team play as one unit, one plan of attack. Twenty-five guys attacking the pitcher, not just nine.”
Pagliarulo, 56, said he was in the running for the job last year, but Bonds was hired instead.
“Pags” was originally drafted by the Yankees out of the University of Miami in the sixth round of the 1981 draft. He played 11 years in the major leagues, finishing with a .241 career average and 134 home runs in 1,246 games. He won the 1991 World Series as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
Former Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
From 1984-89, he played for the Yankees and hit 28 homers in 1986 and 32 home runs in 1987. In addition to the Yanks and Twins, Pagliarulo played in the big leagues for the Padres, Rangers and Orioles.
Asked about the idea of one day returning to pinstripes, Pagliarulo said, “I’m a Marlin. Just as in my playing days, I’ve never looked ahead. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Bonds’ hiring as Miami’s hitting coach was a surprise to some in the game who did not view him settling into the coach’s life. He lasted one season.
Under Bonds, the Marlins were fourth in the majors in batting average (.263), but only 27th in runs, one spot behind the Mets. Miami was 13th in on-base percentage (.322), 27th in slugging (.394) and 25th in OPS (.716).
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News