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Sellout A's crowd misses Bonds because of rainout

PHOENIX -- A sellout crowd hoping to see Barry Bonds play arrived to a soggy stadium Saturday and learned the Oakland Athletics' home Cactus League game against the San Francisco Giants was rained out.

The 41-year-old Bonds went through some conditioning work
indoors in nearby Scottsdale, two days after making his first
spring training appearance in two years in a loss against the
Angels.

Bonds, facing further steroids scrutiny this week after the
release of excerpts from an upcoming book detailing his alleged
longtime use of performance-enhancing drugs, had said he hoped to
play in left field for the first time Sunday against the San Diego
Padres, but that could change if the field is soggy and there's
even the slightest chance he might slip on his surgically repaired
right knee.

"We're going to see how the field is," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "[The rainout] is not going to hurt anything -- except maybe for Barry not DHing today. That might be the biggest loss when it comes to the rainout. … The plan is to make sure he
continues to feel as well as he's been feeling. We feel we have
enough time for him to do what he needs to do under the best
possible conditions."

San Francisco's Matt Cain will make his scheduled start against
San Diego on Sunday, while slated Saturday starter Noah Lowry will
pitch in a minor league intrasquad game Sunday instead.

The A's were expecting 7,500 people to pack Phoenix Municipal
Stadium for the afternoon matchup, but instead were left to offer
fans tickets to another exhibition game. With rain forecast for the
entire day and into Sunday, there wasn't even a three-hour window
to try to get the game played considering it would have taken at
least an hour to prepare the field.

"It would have been a good day," said Oakland team president
and partial owner Michael Crowley, who couldn't recall a spring
training rainout for the club in the past two years.
"Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate."

A's right-hander Joe Blanton signed autographs for the few fans
who did come into the stadium and were holding umbrellas and one
player tossed a ball into the seats.