SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The San Francisco Giants signed Michael Morse to add a little pop to a lineup that sorely needs it. With Barry Bonds now set to arrive in camp next month, it seems obvious that Morse would seek out a few tips about blasting balls through the wind and fog at AT&T Park.
The new left fielder has other ideas.
"People forget because they always talk about his hitting, but he used to be a tremendous outfielder," Morse said Sunday. "The guy knew the outfield at AT&T Park like the back of his hand. I can't wait to pick his brain."
On Twitter, Morse retweeted a story about Bonds' return to the organization and added "Wohooooo," later saying the experience is going to be "awesome, just awesome." He wasn't the only Giant eager to learn from one of the best hitters in major league history.
Even Buster Posey, who won the Giants' first MVP award since Bonds' career ended, said there are things he can pick up. Posey has already asked Bonds' former teammates and coaches about what he can expect.
"Everyone talks about him having a simple approach," Posey said. "Everyone can take something from that. We tend to complicate things."
Bonds' arrival, scheduled for the second week of March, will certainly be complex. The 49-year-old is less than a year removed from losing his appeal in a federal perjury case and recently served a month of home confinement, and the Giants are already preparing for a potential media circus. Inside the clubhouse, however, the current Giants aren't worried.
"I haven't even thought about that," Posey said, echoing several of his teammates.
Manager Bruce Bochy and CEO and president Larry Baer have said they don't have concerns about Bonds showing up as a special instructor. Those who will work with Bonds can't wait for the opportunity, with several players asking a reporter Sunday if they knew exactly when Bonds would show up.
Bonds has not been connected to the Giants in an official capacity since 2007, his final season, but he hasn't been a total ghost. Members of the 2011 draft class remember Bonds joining Willie Mays, Shawon Dunston and others at a conditioning camp at AT&T Park that year.
Catching prospect Andrew Susac smiled when recounting how Bonds talked about his preparation for fastballs, especially late in his career. Pitcher Kyle Crick, the organization's top prospect, remembers Bonds preaching the importance of focusing on your weaknesses, not your strengths. Bonds told the collection of about 20 teenagers and recent college athletes that he preferred facing left-handed batting practice pitchers because they gave him more trouble.
For Susac, one of the few current Giants who grew up in Northern California, the news that Bonds will show up held special meaning. Susac's father used to take him to Candlestick Park to watch Giants teams built around Bonds. Susac said he had trouble focusing at times when Bonds spoke to the 2011 draft class.
"You almost get stuck looking at him and miss some of his words," Susac said, laughing. "You're just like, 'That's Barry Bonds.' You're acknowledging the fact that he's sitting right there."
Players hadn't been informed of any official plans Sunday, but several said they hope to be able to get one-on-one coaching. That is, if they can muster the nerve to ask for it.
"Oh yeah, I'll be a little nervous to go up to him," first baseman Brandon Belt said. "When hitting coaches talk about proper mechanics, they use him as an example, so I'm going to have to build some courage to say something."
- Center fielder Angel Pagan was held out of the team workout after his back tightened up during a morning meeting. "I'm good, I'm good," Pagan said, adding that he expects to be on the field Monday.
Second baseman Marco Scutaro did some work on a back field but still remains about a week away from joining team workouts, Bochy said.
- Because the Giants have a day off immediately after Wednesday's Cactus League opener, Yusmeiro Petit - not one of the big guns - will get the start. Bochy said the regular starting five will start taking turns Friday.