SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds has seemed happy in San Francisco in recent days, and it looks like he'll leave his rabid fans with smiles as well.
The 43-year-old home run king wasn't in the
lineup on Tuesday night against San Diego -- sitting out his 10th straight game with a sprained right big toe -- but manager Bruce Bochy said after the 6-4 loss that Bonds would be back for his final home game in San Francisco on Wednesday.
"Barry is going to start tomorrow," Bochy said.
"He's ready to go. We'll see how he feels, how he's doing. Yeah,
it would have been nice to use him tonight but the toe is still
Bonds might have come in handy against the Padres. Brian Giles shocked the Giants with a three-run, go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth. San Francisco put two men on in the bottom half, but Bonds did not emerge from the dugout.
Before the game, a relaxed Bonds leaned on the back of the
batting cage and razzed Rajai Davis as the rookie took pregame
Earlier, Bonds joked with teammates and cleared more items from
his corner locker in the clubhouse. He waved to fans near the
Giants' dugout and seemed to be relishing his final days with San
Bochy met with Bonds in the manager's office with the door closed
before they headed to the field.
"It went fine," Bochy said. "We just talked about some things
to see where he's at -- the progress on his toe. It's a lot better.
He feels a lot better. He's come along, and I am more optimistic he
could be a lot better and play tomorrow. If Barry can play, he
wants to play."
Even with the start on Wednesday, Bonds probably will only be used
sparingly during this weekend's three-game series against rival Los
Angeles at Dodger Stadium -- a place Bonds has long enjoyed playing
despite the boos.
The Giants announced Friday they will part with Bonds after this
season, the seven-time NL MVP's 15th in San Francisco and 22nd in
"I think Barry will poke his head out of the dugout at some
point," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Any time Barry comes to
the plate in this park, the fans go crazy."
Bonds has helped bring in 3 million fans annually in all eight
seasons of play at San Francisco's waterfront ballpark. Large
banners hanging from the light posts on either side of the main
center-field scoreboard commemorating his 756th home run could be
taken down soon.
"It's a great honor to be able to play with Bonds and be around
him every day," said pitcher Barry Zito, who dressed next to Bonds
during spring training and the season. "That's something I'll
always cherish. It's a good memory I'll always have."
There is speculation Bonds will try to stay close to his Beverly
Hills home and play in the AL West, perhaps for Texas or Seattle.
"When you think about playing the Giants, you think about
playing against Bonds," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said.
"It's the first thing that pops into your head. It's definitely
going to be a change here in San Francisco. It's going to be
different for the fans, for the organization and for building a
"There will be a market for him. He'd be a pretty nice DH to
have in the middle of your lineup, and it would allow him to play a
few more years. I think someone will give him that opportunity.
He's still an offensive force and still a pretty good defensive
player if he's healthy."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.