Manager says Bonds' toe ready for San Fran farewell game

Updated: September 26, 2007, 2:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

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 bothering him."

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 swings.

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 Francisco.

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 the majors.

"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 ballclub. ...

"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.

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