SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Barry Bonds (search) angrily sidestepped questions about his role in baseball's steroid scandal upon his arrival at spring training Tuesday, pronouncing himself weary but ready to begin his pursuit of Hank Aaron's (search) home run record.
In the 40-year-old Bonds' first public comments since his grand jury testimony was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle and reported in December, he had nothing to say about it, citing legal constrictions. But he had harsh words for the media and fans still consumed by the circumstances of his record-setting home run binge.
"You guys are like re-running stories," Bonds said to the huge group of reporters in attendance. "This is old stuff. It's like watching 'Sanford and Son.' ... It's almost comical, basically."
"The sad part, I just want to go out there and play baseball," Bonds said. "I don't even care about the record part so much. The best is whatever you get out of yourself. That's all I'm trying to do."
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonds testified to the grand jury in December 2003 that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know if they were steroids. Prosecutors believe the substances were two steroids at the center of the BALCO scandal.
Bonds repeatedly refused to speak directly about it, but he castigated everyone from the media to Jose Canseco (search), whose recently released book described a rampant culture of steroid abuse in baseball.
"I don't know Canseco, besides hello and goodbye. I don't put any weight into what he says," Bonds said. "Mark McGwire was a big boy in college. To me, Canseco, you've got to come with a whole lot more. ... It's to make a buck, that's all it is.
"I don't know Jose. I was better than Jose then, and I've been better than him his whole career. If he wants to go make money, go ahead. ... For somebody who brags about what he did, I don't see any of your records."
Bonds rolled into the Giants' training complex on the day position players were due to report. After he hopped out of his SUV and made his way into the stadium, he waved twice at the 50 or so fans there to greet him.
There were seven satellite trucks and a dozen cameras there when Bonds came in.
The seven-time NL MVP is entering his 20th major league season. Bonds drew 232 walks last season, 34 more than the record he set in 2002 and more than 100 more than anyone in baseball. His 120 intentional walks shattered the mark of 68 that he set in 2002.
Bonds will be limited for a while.
He's had arthroscopic surgery on both knees since last season ended, including an operation on his right knee Feb. 1 that will keep him out of games until at least mid-March.
Bonds said he wasn't sure if he'd be ready for opening day.
Manager Felipe Alou isn't concerned about his superstar's focus.
"This team is prepared for anything, beginning with No. 25," Alou said, referring to Bonds.