Home run king Barry Bonds smiles and flashes a "V" sign to passing children at the Federal Building in San Francisco on April 13, 2011 A jury convicted Bonds on obstruction of justice charges but hung on the perjury charges . UPI/Terry Schmitt | License Photo
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Alex Rodriguez is reportedly preparing for his 2015 return to Major League Baseball by training with controversial slugger and all time home run king Barry Bonds.
According to Jon Shea of the San Francisco Gate, Bonds has been giving Rodriguez private sessions at the Futer Prospect facility in San Rafael, Calif. Future Prospects is owned by Charles Scott, a former teammate of Bonds at Arizona State and a talent scout for the Tampa Bay Rays.
"A couple of sources -- actually buddies whose kids train at the facility -- tipped me off to the Bonds-Rodriguez sessions, which obviously made quite a few up-and-comers do a double take," Scott noted in the Gate.
"The kids looked, listened and admired the all-time home run leader working with the one-time heir apparent, proprietors of a combined 1,416 homers talking ball."
Rodriguez currently has 654 career home runs, a number that's unlikely to grow over 762 -- Bonds' record -- before the nearly-40-year-old retires.
Rodriguez sat out the entire 2014 season after violating major league baseball's substance abuse policy. Rodriguez says he plans to return to third base, the position he's played since getting traded to the Yankees in 2004, but Yankees GM Brian Cashman says the team will utilize him as their full time designated hitter.
Bonds, who is perpetually linked to the "steroid era," tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2000, despite long asserting he never failed a drug test. He was convicted of obstruction of justice.
Bonds has largely remained out of the spotlight since playing his last game in 2007 and unceremoniously announcing his retirement through his agent two years later. However, the 50-year-old has reemerged somewhat in recent months, posting videos of himself taking batting practice on Intragram, winning the Hall of Fame endorsements of fellow baseball outcasts, and now training the player many once assumed would surpass his home run record.