MESA, Ariz. -- This little desert dustup between Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa isn't blowing away quite yet.
Certainly not after a bit of playful back-and-forth between the sluggers about Bonds' home run record suddenly turned personal.
"I thought he was a good person, but now I have to believe the negative things said about him by his teammates are true," Sosa barbed.
Said Bonds: "I don't know what made him burst out like that."
Now it's not close to a blood feud, not like the severe sniping Ken Griffey Jr. is taking from ex-Reds during spring training.
Sosa brushed aside a question about Bonds on Thursday, as if it was no big deal.
Best for Bonds and Sosa, they'll soon get a chance to put it to rest, if they want. On Monday, the San Francisco Giants play the Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam Park.
Most likely, Bonds will make the 20-minute trip to Mesa, and they can settle their differences - perceived or real - with either a public hug or a private discussion.
"I love Sammy Sosa," Bonds said. "The media misconstrued this."
Chances are, though, the lovefest that developed between Sosa and Mark McGwire during their 1998 chase for Roger Maris' mark will not be duplicated if Bonds and Slammin' Sammy duel this season.
The odd thing about the Bonds-Sosa flap is that unlike other baseball feuds - Roger Clemens-Mike Piazza and Yogi Berra-George Steinbrenner, among them - this one did not start over one specific incident.
Instead, it just began brewing after Bonds and Sosa talked before an exhibition game last week. The two stars, who are merely casual acquaintances, naturally spoke about Bonds' 73 home runs last year.
Later, Sosa said Bonds had told him, "I want you to break my record."
But Bonds said he didn't really care who passed him, adding that Sosa "was just running his mouth too much."
Bonds indicated he didn't mean any harm. Sosa didn't take it that way.
From there, the words escalated.
"I've always admired him as a player and person, but now I have to say I don't care about him or what he says," Sosa said. "I'm a team player, not a selfish player."
Bonds didn't sound overly concerned.
"I've been the player that always thinks Sammy should win MVP. I'm the one that always voted for Sammy to do something special," he said.
"I just think it's funny. I don't know what to say. I think it's childish, to be honest with you," he said.