Giants slugger letting fans get to know him

Originally Published: March 26, 2004
Associated Press

San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds will launch a Web site -- -- to the public perhaps as soon as April.

Bonds says he plans to answer fan questions on a weekly basis once the season is under way.

"They will be able to chat with me, ask me how my week is going, make comments on what they feel," Bonds told the Contra Costa Times. "If you want to interact with me, you're going to have that opportunity on my Web page.

"I want people to have the opportunity to see what I'm doing," Bonds said. "People say they don't know me. They'll get the opportunity to know me now."

Bonds also plans to sell authentic memorabilia, including T-shirts and jerseys with both his and his godfather Willie Mays' likenesses on them. With two more home runs, Bonds will tie Mays' mark of 660.

  • In other Giants news, left-hander Scott Eyre aggravated a back injury Friday.

    Eyre was scheduled to see a spine specialist and get an MRI on Saturday to determine the extent of the damage to his lower back.

    "We don't know what he has," trainer Stan Conte said. "He has some irritation in his back and we have to evaluate to what extent. We won't know anything until later."

    The reliever was hurt during San Francisco's 8-5 victory over the Athletics in a split-squad game.

    Eyre slipped on the mound on a pitch that nearly hit Billy McMillon. Eyre then struck out McMillon to end the seventh inning.

    Eyre, who pitched in 74 games for the Giants last year, said he first injured his back a few weeks before the start of spring training.

    Eyre has pitched in eight games this spring, but he hasn't been able to take part in some of the conditioning drills because of his back. He says he plans to pitch on opening day.

    Kansas City Royals: All-Star first baseman Mike Sweeney and promising left-hander Jimmy Gobble are the latest Royals to be slowed by injuries.

    Sweeney was scratched from the lineup against Milwaukee on Friday because of stiffness in his lower back. Royals manager Tony Pena said Sweeney also will sit out Saturday.

    Gobble, who was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his first four spring training appearances, will miss his scheduled start Saturday against Arizona because of an abdominal strain.

    Sweeney has been plagued by back and neck injuries the past two years.

    "We were fielding bunts and I twisted it," Sweeney said. "I could have played, but Tony and (assistant trainer) Frank Kyte didn't want me."

    Gobble was not allowed to do any on-field activities Friday, but if he feels good Saturday he might try to throw off the mound.

    When Gobble, 22, complained of tightness in his right side on Thursday, his bullpen session was quickly stopped.

    If the injury does not set him back, Gobble will open the season in Kansas City's rotation.

    The Royals have already lost three starting pitchers to season-ending surgery. Miguel Asencio will undergo elbow surgery on Monday in Los Angeles; Kyle Snyder had right shoulder surgery on Feb. 25; and Runelvys Hernandez is out for the season after elbow surgery in September.

    In addition, Mike MacDougal, who saved 27 games as a rookie last year, has not pitched since March 13 because of a stomach virus that caused him to lose five pounds.

    Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates may find out Sunday if 39-year-old Rick Reed is ready to be their No. 5 starter.

    Reed, who hasn't pitched in a major league exhibition since March 10th because of lower back stiffness, will start against the Indians in Winter Haven, Florida.

    The outing will come only eight days before the April 5 opener and a day before general manager Dave Littlefield, manager Lloyd McClendon and their staffs make the latest roster cuts.

    Despite his long layoff and a terrible outing against Orioles' minor leaguers Wednesday, Reed is convinced that he's ready to go. However, right-hander Ryan Vogelsong is enjoying a much better spring and could move into the fifth slot if the Pirates are convinced that Reed isn't healthy.

  • Right-hander Kip Wells will start the Pittsburgh Pirates' season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5.

    Wells started the Pirates' home opener last season, losing to Milwaukee 5-3.

    Wells was 10-9 with a 3.28 ERA last season after going 12-14 with a 3.58 ERA in 2002. He was dealt to Pittsburgh from the White Sox as part of the Todd Ritchie trade, and has a 42-44 career record with two complete games and one shutout.

    Houston Astros: Reliever Dave Veres was released by the Houston Astros on Friday, ending his bid to rejoin the team for which he was a bullpen mainstay in 1995.

    He played for the Cubs last season. He appeared in 31 games and had a 2-1 record with one save and a 4.68 ERA.

    The 37-year-old Veres pitched eight innings this spring and had a 2.25 ERA with four walks and two strikeouts.

    He pitched for the Astros in 1994 and 1995. In 1995 he led NL relievers with 103 1-3 innings in his first full season in the majors. He also pitched for Montreal, Colorado and St. Louis.

    Chicago White Sox: Right-hander Dan Wright pitched six solid innings and earned the No. 5 spot in Chicago's starting rotation as the White Sox beat the Rockies 5-4 on Friday.

    Wright was told when he finished his stint he will be Chicago's fifth starter.

    Wright (2-0) allowed seven hits and two runs with one walk and two strikeouts. He has a 2.87 ERA this spring.

    Colorado backup catcher Todd Greene left the game in the fourth inning after being hit by a foul tip on his right thumb. He suffered a bruised thumb and lost the nail, but X-rays were negative.

    Montreal Expos: Montreal optioned right-hander Seung Song to Triple-A Edmonton on Friday, one of four cuts the Expos made.

    They also optioned outfielder Val Pascucci to Edmonton, and reassigned right-hander Jeff Farnsworth and infielder Julius Matos to the team's minor league camp.

    Song, who allowed three hits in three scoreless innings in his last outing on Tuesday, was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in four games this spring.

    Pascucci hit .292 with one home run and six RBIs in 15 games. Farnsworth was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five games, and Matos hit .227 in 14 games.

    Montreal has 38 players remaining in camp.

    Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press