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Bonds has 'uneventful' surgery on left elbow

| Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Bonds had a 10-minute operation on his left elbow Wednesday to remove a quarter-inch ball of scar tissue and suture from a previous surgery.

San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte referred to the procedure, performed by local team orthopedist Dr. David Zeman, as a "bumpectomy."

"It was uneventful, exactly as we planned," Conte said. "We didn't have to dig into the (triceps) muscle or anything else. It was right below the skin. The key to the surgery was we opened up the skin and it was right there."

The five-time NL MVP rested at home after the operation, and was expected to do some running and other cardio work today, the first day of full-squad workouts for the defending NL champions.

The 38-year-old slugger is not likely to swing a bat or play in left field for three or four days, but could practice sooner. Conte said Bonds' incision was about an inch long and that Bonds had three stitches. The surrounding area was tender.

Bonds had local anesthesia, meaning his elbow was numbed. He also was under some sedation. There was a 30-minute recovery period for Bonds before he was allowed to go home, Conte said.

TED WILLIAMS' SON GETS ANOTHER SHOT

At 34, John Henry Williams knows he's chasing a nearly impossible dream.

He's trying to make it to the majors with little experience, at an age when most players are starting to think about retirement.

But he is Ted Williams' only son, and baseball is in his blood.

"I'm very proud of who I am and very proud of who my father was," the younger Williams said Wednesday, two days after signing with the Schaumburg Flyers of the independent Northern League.

"He did something that very few people could ever do, and I'm somewhat living my life now in his honor."

The last major leaguer to bat .400, Ted Williams was baseball's greatest hitter. A two-time MVP who twice won the Triple Crown, he hit .344 lifetime with 521 home runs -- even though he interrupted his career twice to serve as a Marine Corps pilot.

He died last July of heart failure at 83.

SORIANO TO STAY AT LEADOFF

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre doesn't plan to move Alfonso Soriano from the top of his batting order.

Soriano hit .300 with 39 homers, 41 steals and 102 RBI last year in his second full major-league season.

"Just thinking about this right now, you look at him or (Derek) Jeter as a leadoff hitter," Torre said. "I don't anticipate any change. It doesn't mean we won't. But that's not one of my projects going in."

Soriano likes hitting first. He had eight leadoff homers last season, one shy of the team record set by Rickey Henderson in 1986.

"When I walk through the street, the people forgot about 40-40 or 30-30. They said 50-50," Soriano said, laughing. "I don't think about offensive numbers. The only thing I think now is about strike outs and my defense at second base. That's what I'm working on in spring training."

KENT MISSES FIRST DAY WITH ASTROS

Jeff Kent's much-anticipated debut with the Houston Astros was put off yesterday because he didn't feel well.

Kent made a brief appearance at camp early in the morning, but was sent home. He didn't take part in the first full-squad workout of spring training.

The power-hitting second baseman signed an $18.2 million, two-year contract with the Astros after helping lead the San Francisco Giants to the World Series.

BASE HITS

Pitcher Kirk Rueter agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract extension with the San Francisco Giants yesterday that runs through 2005. ... Freddy Garcia already was getting paid like a No. 1 starter, and Seattle Mariners manager Bob Melvin made things official by giving him the title. Garcia will start March 25 when the Mariners open the regular season against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo. Jamie Moyer will start the second game of the series, as well as the home opener April 8 against Anaheim. ... Third baseman Jeff Baker, the Colorado Rockies' fourth-round pick in last year's amateur draft, had surgery on his left wrist and is expected to make a full recovery before the end of spring training. ... Florida Marlins ace A.J. Burnett pretended he was hurting for cash after losing baseball's final arbitration case of the year. He's hardly headed for the poorhouse. Burnett will make $2.5 million this season, a 580 percent increase over last year's salary of $367,500. ... The Arizona Diamondbacks will have a mandatory 10-minute autograph session before every night home game.

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