SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After seven days of watching, advising and doing far too much standing around for his liking, Barry Bonds finally did something Sunday he'd been itching all week to do.
He grabbed a bat and jumped in the cage.
With the Giants' longtime left-handed batting practice specialist "Cutter John" Yandle on the mound, Bonds had an extended hitting session out of view of observers on the back field at Scottsdale Stadium.
According to Yandle, Bonds hit rope after rope and on his last few swings unloaded some massive blasts into the adjoining neighborhood.
"He looked better than he did before," Yandle said. "He's still got the swing down."
Then Yandle turned to Bonds and said, "But I did get one by you, Barry."
"You got one by me," Bonds said, nodding and smiling. "But only one."
Then Bonds gave his own assessment of how the hitting session went. Does he still have it?
"Yeah, easy, no worries," he said. "Maybe in about 5-6 more years I'll start to slow down. But today ain't the day."
Bonds said the hardest part of his first-ever week as a special instructor with the Giants was the physical inactivity. Once he slipped on a uniform, the urge to do it himself tugged at him constantly.
"I felt like I needed to put on my No. 25 and go out there and play," he said. "I just couldn't run. But I can still hit, though."
Bonds said his week working with hitters was "all good, all fun," but he wasn't sure if he could coach on a regular basis.
"I like the other side better, because you get to work," he said. "It's hard to sit back and watch. When you're out there, the competitiveness in your brain comes out."
Still, he said he hoped he offered some sage advice this week. On his final day, he talked to each Giants hitter and left them with a final thought. While it was rewarding for him, he'll wait for the reviews to see how it all went, and whether he'll do this again.
"I don't know," he said. "It's up to them, it's up to (manager Bruce) Bochy, it's up to the guys. It doesn't matter what I want to do. The only thing that matters is whether I brought a contribution to the team. Did the guys like it? If they didn't like it, then this is a short story."
Bochy thought Bonds Week was a successful trial run and that his players were all ears. He thought it was good for Bonds, too.
"I think he enjoyed his time, and I'm sure it was a learning experience for him," Bochy said. "I think it'll help him decide what he does want to do."
Bonds did say a number of players seemed eager to soak up his knowledge.
"There wasn't a lot of brain-picking," he said. "It was more trying to get each individual where he wanted to be comfortable. Picking my brain isn't going to help you none. You have to be yourself as a hitter. All I tried to do was provide some tips."
Two of the key hitters in the Giants lineup, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, said Bonds' brief visit was very beneficial.
"I thought he had some good information that he shared with us," Posey said. "You just try to listen as much as you can and try to take something away that will help you."
Added Sandoval: "I learned a lot of things from him, and just having him here was exciting. He's one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. With me, he didn't want to change my approach. He just wanted me to focus on being ready to hit."
Bonds was scheduled to catch a flight back to California on Sunday night. He said he is moving back to San Francisco and is looking for a house. In other words, he'll be close by if the Giants want to call him again.
Hudson gave up five hits, four walks and three runs but also struck out four in 42/3 innings in a 5-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians, and he said he felt sharper than the final numbers showed.
"I was around where I wanted to be most of the time, and the last couple of innings was much better," he said. "I'm behind where I normally am from a pitching standpoint."
"It's a tradition here, and these guys are pretty fortunate to have these guys make themselves available to them," Bochy said.