SAN FRANCISCO -- Remaining the enigmatic figure that he has been since playing his final game in 2007, Barry Bonds said Sunday that he doesn't envision playing baseball again yet won't officially retire. Bonds, 45, indicated that he considers announcing his retirement as an active player to be a formality. "It's not necessary at the moment right now," said Bonds, who attended a reunion of players from the Giants' 2000 National League West championship team at AT&T Park. "Retirement isn't important to me at the moment."
Yet Bonds also said, "I don't have any plans at all" when asked about playing again. Though he said he continues to exercise and has trimmed his weight from 238 pounds to around 225-228 pounds, he hinted that he's not close to being in playing shape. "I would have to work out a little bit harder to give that any kind of formal consideration," Bonds said with a laugh. Bonds, baseball's all-time home run leader with 762, did not address his ongoing perjury case and skirted a question about his reaction to Mark McGwire's admission that he used performance-enhancing substances. "I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire. I'm proud of him," Bonds said. Asked if he'd like to follow McGwire's foray into coaching -- he tutors the St. Louis Cardinals' hitters -- Bonds replied, "At the moment right now I'm day-to-day in my life and just having fun." But Bonds, who has visited AT&T Park on a handful of occasions since he stopped playing, didn't completely rule out coaching eventually. "I was given a gift with the things that I know and I can do in this game," he said. "Sooner or later I will be able to pass that along. Whoever wants it, I just talk to them about it." That's exactly what Bonds said he did during the offseason in Florida with Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard. "He gave me a phone call and asked if I could come down and talk to him and I said I'd be happy to," said Bonds, who wryly noted that the Phillies slugger "hasn't said one thing about me yet. But I love him and I'm glad he's doing well." Bonds keeps tabs on the Giants, with whom he spent 15 of his 22 Major League seasons. He said that he's "so proud" of pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain and added that he watches the Giants frequently on television. "I didn't miss any game in Houston," he said, referring to the team's season-opening series sweep. Bonds said that he doesn't "overly miss" much about baseball, though he retains a soft spot for some personal aspects. "I just miss the fans and the people," he said. "I miss being home. This is my home. I miss being here at times; I come back to see my mom [who lives in nearby San Carlos] or I'll drive by the stadium when no one's around just to feel it. But for the most part, I'm grateful. I played a long time. I'm grateful for the time I had."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.