Bonds held out again in Chicago

The slugger is showing signs of his age, which becomes 43 next week.

CHICAGO (AP) — Exactly a week before Barry Bonds’ 43rd birthday, the effects of his age started to really show.

Bonds got a second straight day off Tuesday, with San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy holding the slugger out of the starting lineup again to rest his sore lower body.

And the slumping Bonds says he’s done calling himself an “embarrassment” or making any other self-deprecating remarks during his pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home run record of 755. He is four away from tying the Hammer but hasn’t connected since a two-run shot July 3 at Cincinnati.

“I did everything but bite myself and spit on myself,” Bonds said while sitting at his locker Tuesday, referring to his postgame eruption of two days earlier after the Giants were swept at home by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. “But that’s over with. That’s past tense.”

Lower body pains

Bochy initially had hinted Bonds might sit out Tuesday, but then said after Monday’s game that No. 25 would be a go the next night against the Chicago Cubs. Bonds said his shins and hamstrings are hurting.

Bonds last sat in back-to-back games June 5-6 at Arizona while dealing with shin splints. Bonds also acknowledged in recent days that his legs, feet and toes are swollen — and that he’s just plain exhausted.

He said during the weekend, when he played all 30 innings against the Dodgers including a 12-inning game Saturday, that he was still recovering from the All-Star festivities last week in San Francisco.

Now, Bochy said he will try to avoid playing Bonds so regularly in afternoon games that follow night games, saying, “it’s going to change my strategy.”

“He needs another day to freshen him up,” Bochy said. “That series against L.A. looks like it took its toll on him. We’ll see where he is [Wednesday]. He’s pretty sore and is getting treatment and icing down. He may not be able to go [Wednesday] either. That’s something I knew would happen in the season, that he may need a two- or three-day break.”

Breaks good for Bonds

Bochy figures the physical and mental break are good for Bonds, who turns 43 next Tuesday.

Is the time off helping?

“How can I take a mental break when you’re standing over my locker?” Bonds said, chuckling. “That’s kind of dumb.”

He was scratched for Monday night’s 3-2 series-opening loss at Wrigley Field after telling the trainers he didn’t feel good enough to play.

The Giants play consecutive afternoon games Wednesday and Thursday against the Cubs before a three-game weekend series against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

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