Bonds strikes out, singles in first spring action

TEMPE, Ariz. -- If the latest round of steroids accusations
is bothering Barry Bonds, he's not letting on to it.

Boos coming his way from all directions, Bonds slowly stepped
into the batter's box for his first spring training appearance in
two years and struck out swinging on six pitches.

No home run form yet for the San Francisco star -- though he did
single sharply to right in his third-inning at-bat. After that, he
called it a day, leaving the ballpark in the top of the fourth

Then he had a little fun with Angels starter Hector Carrasco, who glanced to first base wondering if the
slugger would try to steal.

"He said, 'Man, I'm not going anywhere,' " Carrasco recalled of their jovial encounter.

Bonds, playing in an exhibition game against the defending AL West champion
Los Angeles Angels, drew some cheers Thursday during the Giants'
6-5 loss, two days after the release of excerpts from an upcoming
book detailing his alleged longtime steroids regimen.

When asked afterward about the book, Bonds said, "Baseball or

"I don't worry about that stuff," he said during a 20-minute
interview session at his locker back at Scottsdale Stadium. "We
can react about baseball questions or we don't have a conversation.
That's my reaction."

He noted his frame of mind is still strong -- Bonds has become
used to blocking out all sorts of distractions in recent years.

"I haven't shot anybody yet," a smiling Bonds said of his
mind-set. "I haven't killed anyone or anything, gone psycho."

It helps that many fans still adore him.

"We love you, Barry!" one man screamed during Bonds' first
at-bat against Angels right-hander Hector Carrasco, the slugger's
first trip to the plate in an Arizona exhibition game since 2004.
His single came off Carrasco.

After missing the entire spring schedule and most of the regular
season last year while recovering from knee surgery, Bonds decided
to play Thursday. He rejoined the Giants in the morning after
spending Wednesday at home in California for a child custody

He plans to play again Saturday as designated hitter in a game
against Oakland in Phoenix and hopes to appear in the field Sunday
at home against San Diego. Bonds feels "way better" than he did
at this time last year and planned a rigorous workout for Friday.

"If Opening Day was tomorrow and I had to go out there, I'd go
out there. It's what I get paid to do," said Bonds, upbeat as he
munched on a sandwich.

The seven-time NL MVP originally said this spring he wouldn't
play in any road games, but the quick trip to Tempe is one of the
shortest on San Francisco's schedule -- and he had the chance to
play DH. Bonds, still overweight and pushing 250 pounds, often has
complained of how tired his legs become standing in left field for
an entire game while also spending significant time on the bases
after being walked.

Bonds waved to the clapping fans when he entered the Angels'
stadium for the first time, accompanied by teenage son Nikolai. He
also greeted autograph seekers as he made his way into Scottsdale
Stadium for warm-up drills and batting practice.

He did a couple of twists to stretch by his locker and said
little as he walked out of the clubhouse.

"I gotta go," he said. "I gotta keep on schedule."

Manager Felipe Alou had hoped Bonds would play Thursday but
didn't list him on the original lineup. Alou quickly wrote a new
one upon talking to his star cleanup hitter, who replaced Eliezer
Alfonzo as DH.

Alou has said he would like the 41-year-old slugger to play 120
games this season, though Bonds isn't willing to commit to that
yet. He has no target number.