As Barry Bonds hobbled to his car with the help of crutches post hip surgery, and well before the start of Game 3 of the NL Championship Series, the home run king insisted he can hardly remember the World Series of 12 years ago.
His San Francisco Giants lost in seven games to the wild-card Angels.
Tuesday's St. Louis Cardinals starter, John Lackey, pitched against the Giants for the Angels. The right-hander was reminded leading up to Tuesday's outing how he walked Bonds four times during that 2002 Series that went the distance after San Francisco blew it in Game 6.
“I mean, it may have happened, but I don't even remember. All I know is he kicked our butt, that's the only thing I remember,” Bonds said, chuckling.
On Monday, Lackey joked of intentionally walking Bonds: “Wouldn't you? Geez,” then added, “I mean, no offense to anybody in their lineup but they don't got Barry Bonds.”
Bonds credited this young Giants team for another special run. San Francisco won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. The Giants reached the NLCS for the third time in five years.
“They're doing great,” Bonds said. “No need to fix something that isn't broken. They're really amazing. They're fun to watch.”
The 50-year-old Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron's home run record in August 2007, had surgery on his left hip Oct. 8, announcing the procedure with a Twitter photo in a hospital gown. On Tuesday, he offered more details along with a photo of a large bone fragment that was removed. He said he has a lengthy scar from the front of his hip down his left leg, and this was his first time up and walking.
He didn't stay for the game as he needed to rest, but hoped to return for Wednesday night's Game 4. Bonds was greeted by many ballpark employees offering good wishes.
The seven-time NL MVP has become an avid cyclist since his baseball career ended after the 2007 season, when he broke Hank Aaron's home run record of 755 and wound up with 762 over 22 major league seasons.
Bonds said he doesn't know when he will get back on his bike, except “not soon.” He met with Giants athletic trainer Dave Groeschner to map out a rehab schedule.
Bonds acknowledges he has mellowed since retiring, and that he appreciates those who followed his home run chase and career â€” even the sports writers.
“It's just the way it was. Nothing personal,” Bonds said. “I appreciate them all, I appreciate you guys.”