Bonds poses for pics, meets with club employees

Updated: January 30, 2007, 6:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

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After Monday night's meeting with Giants executives to complete his one-year, $15.8 million contract, Bonds asked if there was anything he could do Tuesday since he was still in San Francisco. The Giants asked Bonds if he would meet with club employees.

And Bonds was back at the Giants office Tuesday.

Bonds met with about 200 club employees. Bonds spoke to the employees, answered questions and even took pictures with employees, most of whom had never met him before in his 14 years with the Giants.

Also Tuesday, Giants president Peter Magowan admitted that re-signing Bonds was a risky move, but one that he was comfortable making.

Magowan said he is hopeful the controversial slugger could pass Hank Aaron's all-time home run mark this season.

Bonds, 42, is just 22 home runs shy of Aaron's record of 755.

Magowan was asked in an interview whether it was hard to commit so much money to an aging player.

"It depends on what you think the guy is going to produce," he said. "If he produces the way he produced in the second half of last year, no. If he produces the way he produced in the first half of last year, yes."

Magowan said Bonds had gone into the first half of last year having played only 17 games the previous season.

"He had had three knee operations. He had no chance to run during the offseason," he added. "This year he's coming off a very productive last half of the season. He is able to run and he is therefore in better shape."

Magowan's leadership is closely associated with Bonds, who has played for the team since 1993 when a new group of investors bought the team.

"He came here the same time we did but that's not what's important," Magowan said.

"What's important is what he has accomplished, and he has accomplished more than anyone else that I know of in baseball in the last 50 years."

Still, the Giants did protect themselves before finalizing Bonds' contract.

There is a protection in Bonds' contract that says if the player is indicted in connection with the BALCO case and is suspended by the league, it will be treated as any other league suspension, meaning Bonds will not be paid during that period, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reported.

Larry Baer, the Giants' Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, told ESPN's Karl Ravech on Monday night that had there not been protections given in case of any BALCO-related issues, which could prevent Barry Bonds from playing, and that Bonds' personal trainers not be allowed in the clubhouse, the deal "would not have been done."

"This is a team, not an individual game," Baer said.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the BALCO case that he hadn't knowingly taken any performance-enhancing drugs.

Two baseball officials said the slugger's trainers -- Harvey Shields and Greg Oliver -- would no longer be on the Giants' payroll. That means neither will be allowed in the clubhouse, where they previously had their own lockers next to Bonds' space, or any other restricted area in any big league ballpark, the officials said. If they were to make road trips, it would be on Bonds' dime or their own.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of such details in Bonds' contract.

"I have no problems with it," Bonds said Monday. "[Oliver] and Harvey will be with me. Just outside the ballpark."

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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