Draw your own conclusions concerning the WBC's use of the Olympic drug testing system, I already have.
When my name was first announced for the WBC, my gut reaction was that I wanted to play. After much thought and discussion with my family I have decided to remove myself from the upcoming World Baseball Classic roster. After the announcement I received a lot of criticism as well as concern from fans and my family and friends. The obvious objections were about my health and whether or not I would beready to play. In the end, I decided that I can't take any chances that might jeopardize my season. I don't want to give the impression that the WBC is not important. I know this means a lot to showcasing our sport worldwide, and the patriotism of playing for Team USA would have been a great honor. I feel what is best for me, my family, the Giants, and our fans is that I sit the WBC out.
As it is every season, my main goal and main focus is for our team to win a championship. I need to be in the best physical shape for the 2006 season -- in what could possibly be my last season. I owe it to the Giants organization, my teammates, and most of all to the fans of San Francisco to give 100 percent this season. I assure you, my decision was not an easy one, but based on my circumstances, I had to put my health and my team first. I wish Team USA the best of luck and even though I won't be in the dugout with them, I'll be definitely be cheering them on to bring our country a WBC title.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Barry Bonds has a message for Giants manager Felipe Alou: He doesn't want to bat second in San Francisco's lineup.
Bonds made the remark after hearing reports that Alou told Giants fans in San Francisco recently that he was thinking about using the seven-time MVP in the No. 2 hole to get him more at-bats.
"There were many times last year that I had to wait until the eighth inning to get him that fourth at-bat and get him out of the game," Alou told the San Jose Mercury News.
"This is something that is not in cement," Alou clarified to the newspaper. "But I would like to do it. Of course, I have to run it by Barry. ... The guy's been batting fourth for three years. I would imagine that's probably what he'd want to do."
Bonds was sidelined for most of the 2005 season with a knee injury and Alou anticipates having to pull him for a defensive replacement late in games.
The outfielder has typically batted third or fourth.
"I am going to speak with Felipe, because at this point in my career it doesn't work for me to be the second bat," Bonds told the Dominican newspaper, El Caribe, for its Sunday editions.
Bonds, 41, said his knee feels good and he continues rehabilitation.
"I feel positive about next season to be able to contribute to my team's cause," he said.
Bonds has 708 career homers, third on the all-time list behind Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755).
The outfielder was in the Dominican Republic to play in the Juan Marichal Golf Classic, whose proceeds go to the needy in the Caribbean nation. The event finished Sunday.