Bonds will not be activated Tuesday
While Barry Bonds return might happen any day now, it won't be Tuesday.
Bonds, whose workout with the San Francisco Giants on Monday in Los Angeles included taking batting practice and testing his throwing arm, was re-evaluated Tuesday morning, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reports. But Giants general manager Brian Sabean told ESPN's Karl Ravech that Bonds will not be activated for Tuesday's game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Sabean told Ravech that Bonds will not suit up because Bonds has yet to be medically cleared to run the bases.
"It's up to them," Bonds told the San Jose Mercury News of when he'd return to the lineup.
The Giants, who quietly have crept back to within 5 games of the Padres' NL West lead, opened a three-game series with the Dodgers on Monday night with a 3-1 victory.
The 41-year-old slugger took 17 swings and hit five balls over the fence during his turn in the batting cage.
"I did pretty well today," Bonds said. "When I get back on the field, I want to be playing where I left off."
Sabean told the Mercury News he "was beyond pleasantly surprised" by what he saw from Bonds on Monday. But said he still needs to see how Bonds can handle the demands of a full game.
"The real test is his ability to stand the rigors of what's entailed in a game: the stopping, the starting, baserunning, the standing in the outfield, the sitting in between innings. There's a lot that goes on that you really can't simulate,'' Sabean told the paper. "I'm at a loss right now to figure out how, incrementally, he would get to the point where he'd end up starting a game and staying out there for nine innings."
Early-arriving fans at Dodger Stadium watched Bonds.
"Come on, Barry!" one shouted. Another taunted him by yelling "Barry BALCO," a reference to the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative that a federal grand jury investigated for steroid distribution. Bonds has publicly denied using steroids.
He joked that having fans yelling for him at Dodger Stadium was "confusing, but it's a great feeling."
"It's great to be out on the field, it's great to smell the grass and be in my uniform again and just being around the guys, it's a great feeling all the way around," he said.
A locker was set up for Bonds in the Giants' clubhouse, where a black warmup jersey bearing his name and number hung.
Giants manager Felipe Alou welcomed Bonds, but he said they didn't talk about the slugger's status.
"The main thing is he's here now," Alou said. "That's big."
Bonds went through an individual workout on the field before any of his teammates emerged for pregame warmups. He threw some long toss, jogged and did cutting drills under the watchful eye of physical therapist Clive Brewster.
"My mind changes as each day goes by," Bonds said about a comeback. "There's a lot of times that I'll come in and say, 'I need a day off,' and 10 minutes later I change my mind.
"I may wake up and I'm so sore I feel like I can't do it and by two hours later, I feel great and I do it. I've been doing that for years," he said.
Bonds appeared to be in good spirits, laughing and chatting about a Labor Day weekend barbecue he had hosted at his Beverly Hills home.
He has been in the area for two months rehabbing his knee and practicing his hitting.
"Hitting is something I feel comfortable with, but I still have a little bit more work to do to keep myself consistent," he said.
Alou said he's confident Bonds' swing will be as potent as ever when he returns.
"I don't have doubts that he'll hit or that they'll walk him," Alou said. "The swing has always been there."
However, Bonds' defense and baserunning ability have yet to be tested. He has missed the entire season and there has been talk that he wouldn't play again until 2006. He has 703 homers, third on the career list behind Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).
He admitted that drawing his usual number of walks would take a toll. He was walked a major league-record 232 times last season en route to his record seventh NL MVP award.
"When you're on that base a lot, it takes a lot out of your body," he said. "That would be a huge, huge test for me. That's the thing I have to think about because that would be real, real hard if that situation came up."
Bonds believes he can still be an everyday player, but he said there might be days he would sit out.
"It has nothing to do with my leg, it would be because I'm just too damn old to do it," he said, laughing.
The Giants have made a late surge in the NL West. They were in second place going into Tuesday night, 5 games behind the San Diego Padres.
"That doesn't push me at all, the game pushes me to come back," Bonds said, joking that "they're doing so well, I don't want to mess it up."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.