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Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Updated: February 27, 4:39 PM ET
Bonds to Wendell: Don't talk through media

ESPN.com news services

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Bonds chastised Colorado reliever Turk Wendell on Wednesday for accusing him of using steroids.

A day after Wendell said it was "clear just seeing his body" that Bonds was taking steroids, the San Francisco Giants slugger said the remark should've been made directly to him -- not a reporter.

Bonds also used profanity in his response.

"I heard about his comments. If you've got something to say, say it to my face," Bonds said. "Don't talk through the media."

"I'm not worried about him. I'm not worried about anyone. I have a lot of respect for Turk Wendell. I have a lot of respect for every baseball player in this game," he added. "You got something to say, you come to my face and say it and we'll deal with each other. Don't talk through the media like you're some tough guy."

On Tuesday in Tucson, Wendell criticized Bonds to The Denver Post.

Bonds, who has always denied using steroids, appeared in December before a grand jury probing a supplements lab accused of illegally distributing steroids to athletes.

His trainer, Greg Anderson, was among four men charged this month. All the men have pleaded innocent and no athletes have been charged.

"If my personal trainer, me, Turk Wendell, got indicted for that, there's no one in the world who wouldn't think that I wasn't taking steroids," Wendell was quoted as saying by the Post. "I mean, what, because he's Barry Bonds, no one's going to say that? I mean, obviously he did it. (His trainer) admitted to giving steroids to baseball players. He just doesn't want to say his name. You don't have to. It's clear just seeing his body."

Rockies pitcher Denny Neagle also chimed in on the subject.

"It is a pretty good coincidence that some of the names that are linked to them are the guys that are the big, massive, overmuscular looking guys," Neagle told the Post.

"I don't know or remember what Jason Giambi looked like back in his early days, but I know he wasn't as big as he is now. The jury is always going to be out on Barry."

Speaking after the Giants' first full-squad workout at spring training, Bonds also hinted that he isn't going to put up with as much from pitchers this season -- but he didn't go as far as saying he'd retaliate if he gets hit.

"I'm not playing with any of these guys out there this year," he said. "It's going to be a battle and a war. That's just what it's going to be. I think sometimes a couple of people got a little bit too comfortable with me, and those things are going to change. And it's going to change quick. Real quick. ...

"There's going to be a respect level. I'll respect you if you respect me. But if not, then we're going deal with that on the field. ... I don't ever threaten anyone. But things will be different."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.