02/19/2003 1:58 pm ET
Bonds' elbow procedure a success
By Chris Shuttlesworth and Rich Draper / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Bonds had an "uneventful" procedure to remove a quarter-inch ball of scar tissue and an old suture from his left elbow Wednesday, said Giants head trainer Stan Conte.
"It was just a 'bumpectomy,'" said Conte, who described the ball as being slightly larger than a pea. "The key to the surgery was that they just opened up the skin and it was right there. We didn't have to dig into the tricep muscle."
Bonds had surgery in 1999 to repair his left triceps and remove a large bone spur from his elbow. One of the sutures from that operation had built up a knot of scar tissue around it, causing some irritation for Bonds, especially when resting his arm on an armrest.
It did not hinder his baseball activities in any way, said Conte, but the medical staff felt removing it now would prevent any potential problems during the season.
Wednesday's surgery, performed by Dr. David Zeman at Piper Outpatient Surgery Center in Scottsdale, took 10 minutes and required only local anesthesia and mild sedation. Bonds needed about 30 minutes of recovery time at the center before returning home, where Conte said he was resting comfortably.
"He'll be able to probably start some cardio work tomorrow and we're guesstimating three to four days before he starts swinging the bat," said Conte. "At this point, it's like he got a one-inch cut and it was sutured. That's all he's dealing with."
Team chemistry: Adding new players always changes a team's chemistry, that mysterious force that makes disparate men into a cohesive unit. Although half the offense -- Jose Cruz Jr., Marquis Grissom, Edgardo Alfonzo and Ray Durham -- is new to the Giants, general manager Brian Sabean isn't worried about how they will blend into the mix.
"Chemistry will happen sooner than you might think," he said. "Each year you're going to have to replace some percentage of your roster, but it is ironic how many free-agent decisions we had.
"I know Felipe isn't worried about it. It's a businesslike group that we have and the guys we brought in have a lot of pride and professionalism. They were known as great teammates in other places.
"We were lucky that the market presented itself with those guys available, and we didn't have to redo the pitching staff."
The skipper speaks: "Anybody who comes to this club is not only coming to the San Francisco Giants but coming to the National League champion San Francisco Giants. The bar is set very high here. It's just not another team. You got to be in shape or get in shape and really compete against some pretty tough people. Expectations are high." -- Felipe Alou.
Physical fitness: Other than Bonds' minor surgery that went well and rehabbing-from-surgery pitchers Robb Nen and Jason Christiansen, who are progressing well, there are no major problems, said Dave Groeschner, the strength and conditioning trainer.
"All the pitchers iced after throwing today and everyone is doing well," he added. "We made it through with pitchers and catchers and we got position guys tomorrow. But it's early."
Off the field: Left-handed reliever Chad Zerbe spent part of the winter getting certified for scuba diving near Redlands, Calif., where he makes his offseason home.
"It was awesome," he said. "I've been wanting to do it. I always thought it would be cool to go underwater and check out reefs and shipwrecks. I can dive anywhere in the world, really."
Players tags: There's Boof and Floppy and Woody and Gato, Fifi and Grip and Shrek and Tiny. Add Livo and Niño and you've got a partial list of Giants nicknames. Pitching prospect Boof was formerly John Bonser, but he legally changed it. Floppy is young hurler Jesse Foppert, Woody (of "Toy Story" fame) is Kirk Rueter, Grip is Marquis Grissom, Shrek is Ryan Jensen, Tiny is 6-foot-7 Damon Minor, Livo is Livan Hernandez and Niño is Pedro Feliz.
From the clubhouse: Clubhouse assistant David "Rollo" Loewenstein is not exactly Imelda Marcos, but he is knee-deep in shoes every day. He has the task of scraping dirt off the cleats and polishing 50 pairs of players' shoes every day, some as many as three times.
"Cleaning the shoes is just a job," said Rollo. "But being in the clubhouse every day is fun."
The job has been made much harder because of recent rains, so mud and wet grass clings to cleats. Why isn't there a machine to do this mundane task? "We had one," said equipment manager Mike Murphy, "but there's too many different cleats and styles that it didn't work."
Weather report: Sunny skies with temperatures around 66 degrees during workouts Wednesday. Occasional showers forecast for Thursday.
Coming up: Full-squad conditioning workouts begin tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Scottsdale Stadium. Players move to Indian School Park for other drills around 10:30 a.m.
Chris Shuttlesworth is an editorial producer for MLB.com. Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.