LOS ANGELES -- The San Francisco Giants' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged a Friday night marred by more ominous news about Barry Bonds: He has bone chips in his left elbow.
The Giants left fielder told MLB.com that he has "10 to 12 bone chips floating" in his elbow, which he said was swollen to "almost twice the size" of his right elbow. Bonds indicated that he wants to keep playing, as ballplayers with bone chips often do. But he won't undergo surgery to fix the problem.
"I'm going to keep playing until it blows up," said Bonds, who's batting .167 (3-for-18) after going 0-for-2 with two walks. "If I have to have a procedure, then I'm done. Finished. That would be it."
Bonds, who turns 42 in July, was diagnosed with inflammation in his left elbow late last month. Speaking to MLB.com with permission from Bonds, who dictates the release of his medical information to the media, Giants trainer Stan Conte confirmed that the bone chips were at the root of Bonds' elbow woes. "There's nothing we can do except keep an eye on it," Conte said.
Meanwhile, in a Field Poll released yesterday, 58 percent of California voters surveyed said they believe Bonds used steroids to enhance his performance. In the first major poll to ask specifically about Bonds' drug use, even a majority of Giants fans surveyed - 55 percent - said they believe he took drugs.
The poll of 917 registered voters was conducted April 3-10, before the revelation Thursday that federal prosecutors have convened a grand jury in San Francisco to investigate whether Bonds committed perjury when he testified that he never knowingly took steroids.
Bonds made the statement under oath on Dec. 4, 2003, to a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, according to a copy of the secret testimony leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle. The BALCO steroid case led to the convictions last year of four men, including Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson.
Bonds and other players also face a steroid investigation launched last month by Major League Baseball, after a book alleged that the Giants left fielder began using drugs in 1998. More than three-fourths of the voters questioned by the Field Poll said they supported the league's move.
A majority of the voters surveyed said they support penalizing Bonds if baseball's investigation finds that he knowingly took drugs. Just more than half of the Giants' fans surveyed said the ballplayer should not be penalized.
The Field Poll was based on a random survey of registered voters, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.