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Notes: Bonds returns to lineup
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05/18/2004  9:24 PM ET
Notes: Bonds returns to lineup
Feliz gets nod at short over slumping Perez
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CHICAGO -- Barry Bonds, bad back and all, says he'll give it a go.

After missing three days with back spasms, the 39-year-old Giants star was in the lineup against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, despite cold and windy conditions that aren't conducive to sore muscles.

"Health is the most important thing to me, but when you get older some things are going to happen -- that's life," said Bonds. "I hurt myself swinging behind the cage, but I'm going to do as much as I can.

   Barry Bonds  /   LF
Born: 07/24/64
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 230 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L

"I want to try it," he said before taking batting practice. "If I can't play, I can't play, but I've got to give it a shot."

The Giants are hoping his condition won't be a chronic one. He had similar back spasms -- painful ones -- during Spring Training and writhed on the ground before they subsided.

Bonds has admitted these are frustrating times for him and the Giants, but he pooh-poohs his own problems when discussing the team's struggles.

San Francisco has dropped four straight games and nine of its last 12 and is eight games out of first place in the National League West with a 15-23 record.

"It's not about me, not about one guy," said Bonds. "It's about each other. We either do it [win] together or we don't."

Funny thing, when Bonds was asked about being walked so much -- 54 times entering Tuesday's action, 29 times intentionally -- the slugger said he would probably do the same thing if he were the opposing manager.

"If it meant winning the game, yeah," he said. Mad about the move, however? Not so far.

"When I throw my bat in the opposing dugout then you'll know I'm [angry]," he said with a chuckle.

   Pedro Feliz  /   1B
Born: 04/27/75
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 205 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Feliz at short: Ready or not, Pedro Feliz is going to play shortstop for the time being to inject some offense into the Giants' lineup.

Feliz hasn't started there all season, but he's hitting .295 while regular shortstop Neifi Perez is batting .203 overall, some 40 points below expectations.

"He took it well," manager Felipe Alou said of Perez's thoughts about the move. "We haven't been hitting the ball or winning games. He said he hopes the move will benefit the team.

"We're concerned about the offense," said Alou, noting the team is hitting .256 and is 11th in the Senior Circuit. With first baseman J.T. Snow heating up along with third sacker Edgardo Alfonzo, Perez's bat became expendable.

"The problem is we've got to do extremely well against our division teams, and right now we're eight games under .500 and seven games when we're in our division."

Baker's kid: The world's most famous ex-batboy, Darren Baker, keeps his dad, Chicago Cubs skipper Dusty Baker, up to date on how the Giants are doing.

"He watches ESPN SportsCenter and lets me know," said Baker. "I don't know if anything takes you by surprise [regarding the Giants' slow start], but I have enough to deal with here than worry about San Francisco."

Bonds, meanwhile, said Darren was "the best batboy the Giants ever had," adding the boy made only one mistake over two years of duty -- excitedly running onto the home plate area during the World Series and being "rescued" by Snow.

"He's a smart kid, and he means a lot to me," said Bonds. "I hope I'm still alive when he hits 800 home runs."

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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