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It's indeed a new season

Updated: April 7, 2006, 10:24 PM ET
By Charlie Moynihan
SAN DIEGO -- "So we are here today healthy." These were Giants manager Felipe Alou's opening comments, which were in stark contrast to a year ago, during his pregame meeting Monday with reporters.

Opening Day 2005 had all of the usual pageantry and anticipation. On a sun-splashed Tuesday afternoon, Bay Area legend Huey Lewis sang, "The Star Bangled Banner" while U.S. Navy FA-18s performed the traditional flyover. The only time Barry Bonds took the field was to accept his unprecedented seventh Most Valuable Player Award. As he addressed the sold-out crowd that day, Bonds proclaimed, "I will be back." He did come back -- albeit 5½ months later.

Spring training '06 was wrought with a book detailing Bonds' alleged steroid use, a failed lawsuit his attorneys brought against the book's co-authors, a child custody hearing and now an investigation by Major League Baseball. Today, Bonds' 19th Opening Day, was like any other. He sat on a medicine ball and lifted weights, an I-Pod strapped to his right arm. Harvey Shields, one of Bonds' personal trainers, massaged his cranky right knee.

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