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Old 02-14-2006, 06:45 PM
TomWilkinson TomWilkinson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas
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Default Giants Counting On A Healthy Bonds

The San Francisco Giants are counting on old man Barry Bonds to carry them to the playoffs this season.

"I found out that it's a lot easier to manage when Barry Bonds is in the lineup every day," Alou said.

The Giants know that Barry Bonds is not the same player he once was. Perhaps that is because of stronger drug testing, but who knows. "We've got to be a lot more careful. Barry himself has to be a lot more careful," Alou said. "I know in 2004 there were many times when I didn't intend to play him. And he came over and said, `Hey I want to play.' And then he played. I believe that this year that he and I will talk a lot more about when he's going to play and especially the day game after a night game but I'll take anything over 100. Maybe 120 games, but it's going to depend on how his knee and his legs will feel."

Pitchers and catchers are set to report to Scottsdale, Ariz., on Wednesday, and the rest of the team will begin workouts next week.

Bonds homered five times in 42 at-bats after his return last season, finishing the season with 708 for his career seven shy of passing Babe Ruth and 48 away from breaking Aaron's record.

The Giants finished with a 75-87 record that was their worst since 1996. "It kind of felt like we were playing a whole season basically waiting for Barry to come back," pitcher Kevin Correia said. "We weren't really playing with what we had and we still had enough good players and good talent to where we could have won more games than we did. ... It's going to be nice to have if Barry does stay healthy all year. Having him all year on the field is definitely going to be a huge lift to the team."

"The sky's the limit with some of the younger guys, but you don't know how they're going to respond," new pitcher Matt Morris said. "If everybody puts in the hard work, competes together and enjoys it I think we have a good chance."
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