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Bonds not retired

Barry Bonds dropped by his old stamping grounds in San Francisco last week, enjoying the Dodgers and Giants from a front-row seat.

“I just haven’t retired,” Bonds told reporters.

He also hasn’t played in 20 months. The “Home Run Counter” on his Web site remains on hold at 762, and his perjury trial remains on hold while prosecutors appeal a pretrial ruling.

So he could play this season, if he could find a job. Jeff Borris, his agent, said he pitched Bonds to all 30 major league clubs, with no offers.

If Bonds really wants to play, he ought to join Jose Lima on the Long Beach (Calif.) Armada of the independent Golden League. Bonds could commute from his Beverly Hills home.

And by June or July, when major league teams search for that one big bat, how much pressure might Bonds put on those teams if he were to hit a ton of home runs in the independent league?

“It really gives organizations and scouts a good look at the player,” Golden League commissioner Kevin Outcalt said. “It showcases that they’re ready to go.”

Outcalt said his league would love to have Bonds in Long Beach. No way, said Bonds’ agent.

“He’s not going to do that,” Borris said. “He should not have to do that.”

A-Rod under fire

Major League Baseball is investigating Alex Rodriguez’s statements about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, increasing the pressure on the New York Yankees star ahead of an unflattering biography due out Monday.

The New York Times reported on its Web site that investigators have reached out to several of the All-Star third baseman’s associates to examine whether he used drugs for a longer period than he has acknowledged.

Clearing the bases

Injured Boston Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz could resume throwing Wednesday or Thursday. Smoltz, recovering from shoulder surgery last June, is currently taking part in a one-week workout program to build strength. … Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar left the game against the Yankees in New York after getting hit in the mouth by a deflected throw.


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