Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Griffey gets Bonds' vote of confidence

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CHICAGO - When asked to compare Cardinals' slugger Albert Pujols to anybody in the major leagues, Barry Bonds named several without hesitation.

But the Giants outfielder also used the opportunity Monday to speak on behalf of a particular player.

"Nobody ever talks about Ken Griffey Jr. anymore," Bonds said.

"I just want that guy to stay healthy. His talent is unbelievable, phenomenal."

While Bonds will appear in his 12th All-Star game, the Reds' center fielder will be relaxing on his yacht somewhere in the Bahamas.

Past leg injuries and an aching shoulder this year have kept the 11-time All-Star away from baseball's midsummer classic since 2000.

"But you've got to admire his courage, his strength to be coming back doing what he's doing. It's incredible," Bonds said.

Griffey missed 33 games in the first half after dislocating his right shoulder while diving for a fly ball April 5.

"When he's healthy, he hits," Bonds said. "You don't see anything diminish. He goes and gets the ball. He's got a great arm. He can still run. He just has to take care of himself."

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