CINCINNATI - Barry Bonds will sit out of the Home Run Derby on Monday night, opting to rest his tired body before Tuesday night's All-Star game.
“Nope,” Bonds said Thursday when asked about the Derby. “Especially when you're 42. It's not that you don't want to, it's that you just can't anymore. You can't. It's too long. Too much waiting. Too much sitting around. You can't do that.”
Bonds, who turns 43 on July 24, was set to start in Thursday night's series finale against the Cincinnati Reds after playing in 74 of his team's first 82 games. He sat out Wednesday afternoon to allow his sore legs to recover and said he “felt better” Thursday.
Bonds had plenty of support in his choice to skip the Home Run Derby.
“I don't blame him,” said American League manager Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers, Bonds' first skipper in Pittsburgh. “It's tiresome. His legs probably wouldn't take it, taking that many swings in a row.”
Bonds is slated to start in left field for the National League in the All-Star game July 10 in San Francisco, his 14th All-Star selection and 12th as a starter. He made up more than 119,000 votes in the final days - getting 1,111,968 additional votes - to finish with 2,325,391 and ahead of Cubs star Alfonso Soriano.