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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Full Squad Workouts underway, Barry retiring?

The Giants had their first full squad workout of the spring on Monday. The only big absentee was Barry Bonds, who won't be repoting until Wenesday or Thursday do to personal reasons. Barry also hinted a few days back in an interview with Bob Nightengale that 2006 would be his laast year playing baseball, regardless what happens. Barry talked about his knees and all the pain he's been in over the last few years. He also talks about his current custody battle over his oldest son, Nickoli. Barry sounded very sincere in his interview with Nightengale, assuring all that this would be his last go round. Less than 24 hours later howver, Barry cleared the air saying he would return in '07 if his knee would allow him too. Who knows whats going through Barry Bonds mind right now, but obviouslt there are numerous things and some may be more important than the game of baseball. I would personally like to see Barry go after he wins a ring in San Francisco and ends the Giants 50+ year drought for a championship. I really have a hard time seeing Barry leaving after the season unless his knees are really gone, and his game takes a noticable dive. The only other scenerio I see Barry retiring under is if the Giants win the World Series in '06. I'd say niether have a particularly good chance of happening. I just can't see Barry wondering off into the sunset after a 35+ home run year and a 1200 OPS. Right now If I had to guess, I'd say Barry comes back fairly healthy in '06, puts up another big season, and then signs a 1 year deal with an option to return to the Giants. The Giants have a ton of money coming off the books after this season, so Barry may want to hang around one more year to see what Sabean can assemble. As of now, the Giants will have over 60 million dollars coming off their payroll after this season (including Bonds). The '06 free agent class has the makings to be solid, and definetly packs more talent than the thin '05 class was. Derek Lee, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Lee, Jim Edmonds, Alphonso Soriano, Melvin Mora, Tori Hunter and Aubrey Huff are just a few of the possible free agent position players.

So far, outside of the Bonds story, there hasn't been too much noise around the Giants camp so far. Everyone is there who should be and nobody has yet to report any physical problems. A few of the interesting battles this spring will be for the 5th starters job, and the final roster bench spot. In the running for the 5th starters job are imcumbent Brad Hennessey, newcomer Jamie Wright, and the live but unpolished Kevin Corriea. Hennessey has a slight inside track because Felipe Alou likes the way he finished the year off last season. However, Jamie Wright has been getting a lot of talk from the skippeer, including how he thinks Wright will be a fine fit at At&t Park. This indicates that the non-roster invitee has an inside track on having a roster spot. Alou also may feel more confident with another veteran at the end of the rotation after youngsters Noah Lowrey and Matt Cain. Moises Alou apparantly looks to be in a lot better shape than what he was in when he reported last season. Alou went on record saying that "if Barry is plays 100+ games, we'll win the division." Alou, who is getting ready to join the Dominican team at the first of March to participate in the World Baseball Classic, is also considering retirement after the season. Other Giants scheduled to play in the 3 week tourny are Randy Winn, Omar Vizquel and Pedro Feliz. Feliz was contiplating staying with the Giants because he'd be behind Aramis Ramirez and Adrian Beltre at 3rd base for the Dominican squad.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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