SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. Seven home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth, this should be a time of unbridled joy and excitement for Barry Bonds.
Not so, he says.
"My life is in shambles. It is crazy," Bonds said Monday in an interview with the Associated Press. "It couldn't get any crazier. I'm just trying to stay sane."
Then, clearly joking, he went for shock value:
"Go to the Empire State Building and jump off, commit suicide and people can say, 'Barry Bonds is finally dead.' Except for in San Francisco," he said. "I'll leave something for them."
Despite those pronouncements, the 41-year-old Bonds has been upbeat and approachable - by his standards - this spring despite the recent release of "Game of Shadows," the book detailing his alleged longtime regimen for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
He appears unfazed at the plate. He's 10-for-16 with four homers in exhibition play.
In Sarasota, Fla., catcher Jason LaRue had surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, then started rehabilitation hoping to be back in the Cincinnati Reds' lineup for opening day.
The operation was part of a whirlwind day for the 32-year-old catcher, who showed up at the club's spring training facility a 5:45 a.m., went to the airport, flew to Cincinnati on owner Bob Castellini's jet, had the surgery and flew back.
In Tucson, Ariz., shortstop Stephen Drew was among seven players sent to the minor-league camp by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Drew, younger brother of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder J.D. Drew, is among the more promising in a large contingent of young talent in the Diamondbacks organization.
The 23-year-old Drew hit .314 this spring and had a shot at making the big-league club in just his second professional season. But Craig Counsell had recovered sufficiently from a shoulder ailment, and the Diamondbacks want Drew in Triple-A Tucson.
In Viera, Fla., Washington shortstop Cristian Guzman will miss the start of the season because of a right shoulder injury after he was put on the 15-day disabled list with four other Nationals.
In Peoria, Ariz., the worst-kept secret in the San Diego Padres' spring camp became official - rookie Josh Barfield has won the starting job at second base.
Barfield, the son of former AL home run champ Jesse Barfield, beat out Mark Bellhorn and Bobby Hill to fill the job vacated when Mark Loretta was traded to Boston
Also Monday, in Surprise, Ariz., first baseman Erubiel Durazo was released by the Texas Rangers.