Moving forward

Associated Press
Mark Sweeney is focused on baseball entering camp, not a report that teammate Barry Bonds blamed a failed amphetamines test last year on something he got from Sweeney's locker.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Mark Sweeney showed up at spring training ready to strictly talk baseball, not the report that teammate Barry Bonds blamed a failed amphetamines test last season on something he got from Sweeney's locker.


Sweeney insists there will be no issues between them and he isn't harboring any hard feelings toward Bonds, scheduled to work out for the first time today with a frenzy of media following his every move and utterance.

"Everything's been fine," said Sweeney, who received a public apology from Bonds. "It was over and done with. It's time to move on and talk about baseball, which has been good. Barry and I have been fine. ... That's how I am. I'm back to it. Everyone is in here. It's not about me and Barry. It's about everybody."

Bonds' arrival this year might be crazier than even in recent springs. Not only is he fully healthy and only 22 home runs from passing Hank Aaron's career record of 755, but the reported amphetamines result and the situation with Sweeney is still fresh in everyone's minds. Not to mention he could be indicted if a federal grand jury finds that he perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the BALCO steroid distribution case that he hadn't knowingly taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Last month, the New York Daily News reported that when Bonds first learned of his failed amphetamines test, he attributed it to a substance he took from Sweeney's locker.

Sweeney plans to take a lead role in helping build chemistry in the clubhouse once all the position players are in camp. Shortstop Omar Vizquel, who said Monday he would love to work out a contract extension past this season, doesn't expect Bonds to stand up and say sorry to the group - though hinted it might be a nice gesture.

"Knowing Barry, I don't think he's going to," Vizquel said. "Maybe a situation where we're having a team meeting and he might stress it. He's not the kind of guy who will call a team meeting and apologize to everybody. I think he realizes he made a mistake. He apologized publicly and I think he'll move on from that."

Sweeney, Vizquel, right fielder Randy Winn, third baseman Pedro Feliz, infielder Kevin Frandsen, outfielder Todd Linden and new first baseman/outfielder Ryan Klesko were among the position players who did some work Monday.

They all know the circus comes to town today. Bonds spent the weekend in Las Vegas for the NBA All-Star game and didn't have to show his face for reporting day - a phone call to say he'd arrived in Arizona would suffice.


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