LOS ANGELES – The San Francisco Giants’ 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged a Friday night marred by more ominous news about Barry Bonds: He has bone chips in his left elbow.
The Giants’ left fielder told MLB.com that he has “10 to 12 bone chips floating” in his elbow, which he said was swollen to “almost twice the size” of his right elbow. Bonds indicated that he wants to keep playing, as ballplayers with bone chips often do. But he won’t undergo surgery to fix the problem.
“I’m going to keep playing until it blows up,” said Bonds, who’s batting .167 (3 for 18) after going 0 for 2 with two walks. “If I have to have a procedure, then I’m done. Finished. That would be it.”
The Dodgers were finished in the ninth inning, when the Giants snapped a 1-1 tie. Omar Vizquel singled leading off against Hong-Chih Kuo (0-2), Los Angeles’ third reliever. Vizquel moved to second base on a wild pitch and reached third on Steve Finley’s groundout. After the expected intentional walk to Bonds, which broke Mel Ott’s franchise record of 1,708 walks, Danys Baez replaced Kuo.
Ray Durham, who struck out while trying to bunt with runners on first and second and nobody out in the seventh inning, lofted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Vizquel.
Jamey Wright (2-0) worked eight innings and surrendered only five hits, including Jeff Kent’s sixth-inning home run. Tim Worrell pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Bonds, who turns 42 in July, was diagnosed with inflammation in his left elbow late last month.
Speaking to MLB.com with permission from Bonds, who dictates the release of his medical information to the media, Giants trainer Stan Conte confirmed that the bone chips were at the root of Bonds’ elbow woes. “There’s nothing we can do except keep an eye on it,” Conte said.
Bonds also drew plenty of attention at Dodger Stadium, where rain delayed the start of Friday night’s Giants-Dodgers series opener for nearly two hours.
Reports that a federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds perjured himself in his testimony about steroid use raised the possibility that a conviction could end Bonds’ season, instead of his troublesome right knee.
General Manager Brian Sabean addressed the ramifications for the team in a conference call with reporters, although he didn’t cite Bonds’ legal problems. “We’ve deepened the team as best we can, whether he’s in the lineup or not in the lineup,” Sabean said.
Manager Felipe Alou avoided Bonds’ legal issues. “News?” he said in response to a question. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s no news.”
Kevin Hallinan, MLB’s director of security and facilities, took a similar approach. “You try not to let the news of the day dictate what we do or what we’re not going to do,” he said, referring to Bonds’ legal matters.
Concerns for Bonds’ welfare on the road arose when one fan threw a toy syringe at him on opening night in San Diego. Asked if he was in Los Angeles to oversee efforts to protect Bonds, Hallinan said, “That’s part of it, certainly,” though he added that this visit had been scheduled for weeks.