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Bonds may get at-bats in No. 3 hole

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds doesn't seem too concerned
about his beat-up teammates as the season opener approaches.

"Baseball's always been 162 days," Bonds, back home in his own
ballpark, said Thursday while joking around for the TV cameras.
"You get through them."

Closer Robb Nen, ace Jason Schmidt and reliever Scott Eyre all
will start the year on the disabled list.

But Bonds, who is two home runs shy of tying godfather Willie
Mays for third place on the all-time list with 660, feels
healthy at age 39.

"I feel great. I really do," the six-time NL Most Valuable Player said.
"Except the ground is hard here."

While Bonds will start the season batting cleanup as usual, manager
Felipe Alou has said he might experiment with him in the No. 3
hole.

"It depends who's hot and who's not," Bonds said. "If a guy
is not swinging the bat well, I might move up."

Bonds spent two stints on the bereavement list last season
dealing with the death of his father, Bobby. He played in 130
games, batting .341 with 45 home runs and 90 RBI.

Does the slugger plan to play more games in 2004?

"You just play as many games as you can," he said. "Last year
was a different situation for me because of personal things."