Originally created 05/06/04

Bonds out again with sinus infection



NEW YORK -- Barry Bonds was not in the San Francisco Giants' starting lineup again Wednesday night because of a sinus infection.

It was the third straight game Bonds did not start, including the first two of a three-game series against the New York Mets.

Jeffrey Hammonds started in left field for the Giants and batted cleanup.

Bonds, who entered the day leading the majors in home runs (10) and batting average (.463), was still sniffling in the clubhouse before the game.

"He felt worse today than he did yesterday," manager Felipe Alou said. "He went to see the doctor today. A bad cold, head cold."

Alou said several Giants have felt sick recently.

Bonds is making his only stop in New York this season, and his second straight absence was a big disappointment to another larger-than-usual crowd at Shea Stadium.

Lee Farrugia stood in the front row during batting practice with his 7-year-old son, Carlo, who was flipping a baseball in and out of his glove. Farrugia said he bought tickets for this game the day they went on sale.

Both he and his boy are Yankees fans, but they wanted to watch Bonds play.

"That's the only reason I came," Farrugia said. "At least come out for batting practice, give us a show, sign some autographs. This is probably the only game I'm going to go to all year for the Mets."

Like several teams, the Mets charge higher ticket prices for games against premium opponents, such as Bonds and the Giants. Alou understands the fans' disappointment - to a certain extent.

"Did the Mets tell the fans that they were going to pitch to Barry?" Alou said. "It's a tough situation for everybody."

Alou wasn't sure whether Bonds would be available to come off the bench and pinch-hit.

"We'll find that out as the game progresses," the manager said.

Bonds went back to the team's hotel during Tuesday night's game.

Mets manager Art Howe was glad Bonds was out of the lineup for the second straight night.

"Maybe the worm has turned. We haven't caught any breaks. Last year he was going to miss a game against us and we had the blackout," Howe said. "We've been playing short-handed since the first day of spring training. I'm not feeling sorry for anybody."