With conditioning, Bonds could play most of '06

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean thinks
Barry Bonds could be physically ready to play around 120 games for
San Francisco next season.

Sabean and Bonds both have acknowledged the slugger needs an
intense conditioning program over the winter to shed some weight
Bonds put on while recovering from three operations this year on
his right knee.

Sabean hinted that Bonds might continue to work with physical
therapist Clive Brewster in Los Angeles this offseason under the
direction of Angels' team orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, the pair who
oversaw Bonds' rehabilitation for two months this summer in
Southern California.

"It's reasonable to think he can play 120 games," Sabean said
Sunday before the Giants' final game of the year against Arizona.
"Now, will we be in a position to have to rest him and be
conscious that he's going to come in some days cranky and not be
able to go? The next step is to get him in spring training and get
him in a position to be able to do that. I think he wants that."

Bonds, who turned 41 in July, shut it down for the final four
games of the season including a three-game weekend series against
the Arizona Diamondbacks after playing in 14 games this season with
13 starts in left field -- all last month. The seven-time NL MVP
batted .286 (12-for-42) with five home runs and 10 RBIs, drawing
nine walks and striking out six times.

He has 708 career homers, third on the all-time list behind Babe
Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755), Bonds' baseball hero. Bonds
homered in four straight games Sept. 16-21.

Bonds said in a recent interview he would like to get his
playing weight down to around 200, which would mean losing
approximately 40 pounds this winter. He was at 185 as a rookie in
1986, but hasn't been close to that in years.

"I think we all know he can still hit," Sabean said. "Again,
he never had a spring training and he had no rehab assignment. So,
it's pretty impressive not so much that the skills are still there,
but for him to get back on the field to whatever degree, it spurs
him to next year and more so how it translated to help the
ballclub, I think is good for everybody. I really believe
especially a position player no matter how great you are, it's very
difficult to take a whole year off.

"He now knows, not that he wouldn't have if he had played, he
knows firsthand that he's still the force he was before he missed
all this time."

As far as Bonds potentially making a switch to the American
League to become a designated hitter, Sabean doesn't expect it to

"He has never made an overture he wants to be anywhere but
here," Sabean said. "He's told everybody in the past he wants to
retire as a Giant."

Manager Felipe Alou is already envisioning his every day lineup
for next season with Bonds in the cleanup spot followed by the
skipper's son, Moises.

"We believe Barry is going to come back healthy and better than
this year," Alou said.