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04/27/08 5:55 PM ET

Baker says Bonds might not return

Manager thinks home run king doesn't seem to miss playing

SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds manager Dusty Baker had some thoughts about the playing future of Barry Bonds, who remains out of baseball since he and the San Francisco Giants parted ways after last season.

Baker, who managed Bonds during a 10-year stay in San Francisco, said he spoke by telephone with baseball's all-time home run hitter about two weeks ago. He said Bonds remains in shape but added the slugger's prolonged absence from the game could make it difficult to return.

"The longer he's out, who knows? The less likely he may want to come back," Baker said. "I'm sure he's got enough money. If you've got enough money and your time is being occupied doing what you like, sometimes when you've been in the spotlight, especially the way he was the last couple of years, maybe he enjoys being ... lost."

Baker, who was himself out of baseball last year, said he could empathize with Bonds.

"I didn't miss last year," he said. "I missed the game, but I didn't miss my phone ringing with people, asking me for tickets. Sometimes some of those people really don't care about me. They care about the tickets."

Baker was asked if he got the sense that Bonds, 43, missed the game.

"It didn't sound like it to me," Baker said.

Dennis Georgatos is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.