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A-Rod’s New Batting Tutor: Barry Bonds

Alex Rodriguez, 40, who missed the 2014 season for his part in the Biogenesis scandal, now works with an unexpected tutor as he tries to resurrect his career: all-time home run leader Barry Bonds.

Rodriguez gave a clue to working with Bonds when he posted two photos of himself on Instagram that showed him swinging a bat, captioned, “Starting the year in the cage.” The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the photos came from the Future Prospects facility in San Rafael, owned by Charles Scott, a friend of Bonds who played with him at Arizona State University.

Bonds has had other students before A-Rod. Last spring in Scottsdale, Arizona, Bonds tutored Michael Morse, who slugged a pinch homer to give the San Francisco Giants the NL pennant last year, as well as Morse’s teammates, including Brandon Crawford and former Giant Pablo Sandoval. Bonds also tutored Dexter Fowler, then with the Astros.

Rodriguez, who has amassed 654 home runs, needs 117 more to pass Bonds’ 770 on the all-time list. In his last three full seasons, 2010-2012, in which Rodriguez missed multiple games because of injuries, he hit 30, 16, and 18 home runs respectively, making it unlikely that he reaches Bonds.

Bonds, 50, who recently lost another chance at the Hall of Fame when he garnered only 36.8% of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America, had hip surgery in October. This month he posted batting-cage videos of himself on Instagram.

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