Barry Bonds pushed his surgically repaired right knee so hard that the San Francisco Giants became concerned he might be doing too much. Yet, after 19 major league seasons, the team trusted Bonds knows his body best.
But on Thursday, Bonds underwent a second operation on the knee – a setback that makes it unlikely the slugger will be ready for opening day.
While the Giants offered no timetable for Bonds’ return, it took the seven-time National League Most Valuable Player more time than expected to recover from the original surgery on the knee on Jan. 31.
“This is certainly a setback, and a significant one,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. “Obviously, we didn’t know we were going to go down this path. Barry did what he felt he could tolerate on any given day. I’m glad this happened now instead of three days before the season.”
Trainer Stan Conte said he could not rule out the possibility of Bonds being ready for the opener on April 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but said it is “not an unreasonable thing” to assume he’ll be sidelined past that date.
“It would be pretty incredible, but I’ve learned with Barry I never say he can’t do something,” Conte said from spring training at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona.
The Giants said in a statement that Bonds had arthroscopic surgery to repair tears in the knee, similar to his earlier operation. Both procedures were performed in the Bay Area by Art Ting.
Eric Young, signed by the San Diego Padres as a free agent in December, got to play in the same game with his 19-year-old son, Eric Jr., a Colorado Rockies farmhand brought up specifically for this game to play second base against his dad’s team.
The Youngs brought the lineup cards to the umpires before the game. Standing at home plate, they hugged and then shook hands.
The elder Young, 37, ended up on second base twice, on a stolen base in the first inning and on a double in the fourth.
He patted his son on the backside both times.
“That’s not supposed to happen, but it was going to happen today,” Eric Young said. “To be that close to him that particular game, it didn’t matter what the situation was. I’d probably spank his butt in a real game, too.
“We laughed. I was making some comments that made him laugh, just let him know the old man can still do it a little bit.”
Father and son each had two hits in the game, won by the Padres 16-7.
“It was actually beyond my dreams,” Eric Young Jr. said. “Just to play alongside him was my first dream, and for both of us to get two hits in the same game, a storybook ending. It was just unbelievable.”
Former reliever Radatz dies
Dick Radatz wanted to be a starter. His minor league manager had different plans.
Johnny Pesky turned him into a reliever in 1961 with Seattle of the Pacific Coast League, and Radatz became one of the most feared and dominant relievers in the early ‘60s with the Boston Red Sox.
The 67-year-old Radatz, who struck out Mickey Mantle 44 of the 63 times he faced the New York Yankees slugger, died Wednesday after falling down a flight of stairs at his home in Easton, Mass., and suffering a severe head injury, police said.
The Bristol County district attorney’s office ruled that Radatz’s death was accidental.
Clearing the bases
Kansas City reassigned outfielder Brian Hunter to their minor league camp. … The Toronto Blue Jays released veteran closer Billy Koch. … The New York Mets released veteran utilityman Joe McEwing. McEwing was given the option of staying and working out with the team, but he opted to be released.
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