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Thursday, June 9, 2005
Bonds dismisses 'I don't sign for white people' quote

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds blasted former White Sox slugger Ron Kittle, whose recently released book quotes the San Francisco Giants star as saying "I don't sign for white people" before a game at Wrigley Field 12 years ago.

"Who is Kittle? How long did he play? He played in our league?" Bonds said, lying on a clubhouse couch before Thursday's game against the Royals. "Ha! Do you guys believe that? ... Do you guys know my life history a little bit? ... One, you insult my children, who are half-white.

"I was married to a woman who was white, so let's get real. I don't even know the guy. Tell him he's an ... idiot. Somebody said he wanted a piece of me. Tell him I'm at 24 Willie Mays Plaza and he can come get me anytime he wants to -- with pleasure. Don't insult my family."

In Kittle's book, "Tales from the White Sox Dugout," he writes that he approached Bonds at his locker in the visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field about autographing some jerseys to be auctioned for a cancer charity. Kittle retired after the 1991 season, and Bonds and the Giants were in Chicago to face the Cubs.

"It's the truth. I don't lie," Kittle told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday. "I tell it as it is. It's unfortunate it happened. And I didn't bring it up to sell the books."

Kittle said the book's co-author, Bob Logan, asked him to write about the good and bad aspects of the game.

"This was one of the rotten things that happened," Kittle said.

While he was furious at Kittle, Bonds said Thursday he was pleased with the progress of his surgically repaired right knee. But he dismissed a report that he hit soft toss in the batting cage Wednesday, saying he was just playing catch.

"Hey, Murphy, have I touched any of my bats?" he hollered to longtime equipment manager Mike Murphy. "I don't even know where they are."

Bonds has had three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31, the most recent on May 2 to drain fluid and examine an infection. He has not played this season.

Bonds said he isn't ready to guess when he might be back in the batter's box. Bonds has a routine doctor's appointment Friday to have his blood tested and another Sunday. Trainer Stan Conte believes Bonds could be off antibiotics sometime next week.

Will Bonds he back this season?

"I still don't know," Bonds said. "You guys will know when I'll be ready. You'll see. There's no reason to discuss that stuff until I'm with my teammates on the field."

Bonds said in spring training he could miss half the season or even the entire year, but has been more optimistic recently about a return. One popular timetable -- though the club won't make any predictions -- has Bonds returning sometime around the All-Star break. He turns 41 on July 24.

Bonds is third on the career home run list with 703, 11 behind Babe Ruth and 52 from tying Hank Aaron's record. Bonds batted .362 last season with 45 homers and 101 RBI and walked a major league-record 232 times on the way to his record seventh MVP award.