Bonds' status for Sunday up in the air
Slugger goes 0-for-2 Saturday, no comment on grand jury
MILWAUKEE -- Barry Bonds came out of manager Bruce Bochy's office before the game Saturday and gave the thumbs-up. He was back in the Giants lineup against the Brewers in a day game after a night game only days after the manager said that scenario probably wasn't going to occur anymore.It'll be the same scene Sunday before Bochy determines whether Bonds will start the last game of the seven-game trip as he continues his pursuit of Hank Aaron for Major League Baseball's all-time home run lead. "I'm going to talk to him and see how he feels," Bochy said after the Giants clobbered the first-place Brewers, 8-0. "We'll take it day-to-day. That's how it's going to go. When I talked to him today, that's all we talked about: today. Sunday never came up." Unfazed by that development, Bonds also appeared to be unmoved by a newspaper report that a grand jury seated in San Francisco could ultimately indict him on perjury charges stemming from his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Asked before the game if he was concerned about it, Bonds said: "Do I look concerned?" When he was told that he looked pretty mellow, Bonds replied: "That's the way I feel." After hitting a pair of homers Thursday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Bonds remains locked on 753, two behind Aaron's record of 755. He's played three consecutive games after missing the first three starts of the trip because of sore and swollen legs. In the first two games here, Bonds is 0-for-6 with three walks, including his 0-for-2 and a pair of strolls (one intentional) on Saturday. Bonds said he can understand why Bochy wants him to play. "We're trying to win as many games as we can, that's why things are altered, you want to put your best team out there," Bonds said. "You can't blame that on Bochy. Blame that on us because we're not winning. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help this team. If he says I'm playing, I'll play." As reporters gathered around his locker, Bonds was asked about the latest report in the New York Daily News regarding the state of the federal government's grand jury investigation. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper reported in its Saturday editions that the term of the current grand jury seated in San Francisco has been extended another six months, although jurors have not met for the last three weeks and were told they would not reconvene until September. The newspaper also reported that, according to its source, the U.S. Justice Department could secure an indictment against Bonds on perjury and possible tax evasion charges now, but was content to wait until it built a stronger case. The current grand jury, the third that has investigated crimes stemming from the raid of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative since 2003, was convened in July 2006. It had an initial term of one year, which can be extended for six more months in three-month increments. Bonds is being investigated for possible perjury during his own grand jury testimony almost four years ago that he unwittingly may have used steroids. That testimony was illegally leaked in part to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004, although the full text of the testimony has never been made public. When questioned again on the matter Saturday, Bonds stated firmly: "I'm not discussing it. I haven't been discussing it forever and I will not discuss it." Bonds said he wasn't sure if he'd be starting Sunday's day game after a day game, even though Bochy said the lefty-swinging slugger was only on the docket for two of the three weekend games at Miller Park, which were all to be played with Commissioner Bud Selig in attendance. "I didn't say that was written in stone," Bochy said about Bonds' immediate schedule. Bonds broke out of an 0-for 21 slump Thursday when he went 3-for-3 with the two homers, three runs scored and six RBIs. Since then, it's been more of the same. After a .364 month of June, Bonds is hitting .171 for July with three homers and 10 RBIs. Bochy had said that Bonds looked like a different player the last day in Chicago. "Yeah, but I looked like the old one [Friday], didn't I?" said Bonds, who will turn 43 on Tuesday. "Everybody needs time off. It doesn't matter who you are. I understand what's going on, but I'm also human and need to rest like everybody else, so it shouldn't be a big deal." Selig, for his part, said Friday night that he would not make a commitment yet whether he'll be there when Bonds breaks Aaron's record. Aaron is the same age as Selig, who will turn 73 later this month, and has been close with the Commissioner for 50 years. Aaron began his career in Milwaukee with the Braves and played his final two seasons (1975 and 1976) for the Brewers during the early stages of Selig's ownership of that club. "I'll decide that after Sunday," Selig said about where he'll be for the remainder of the chase. Bonds reiterated a position that he has taken all along: that he's fine with whatever decision Selig makes about being there for the record breaker. "We haven't talked in a while, but like I said before, I have respect for Bud," Bonds said. "I don't care what you guys write. You can say whatever you want, but you're never going to sway that opinion. Bud has always been kind to me. He was always nice to my father [the late Giants outfielder Bobby Bonds]. He's always been kind to me." When asked if that position might change if Selig is not there for homer No. 756, Bonds simply said, "No."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.