Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Tony Torcato had better be ready to talk about baseball's No. 2-ranked home run hitter. Fans will be asking. So will the media. Even teammates.

Torcato, who spent part of each of the last four seasons with Barry Bonds during his stints with the San Francisco Giants, helps the Golden League inaugurate its second season this week as a member of the Chico Outlaws. It is pretty easy to guess Bonds will be a topic any time the 26-year-old infielder-outfielder with a .298 major league batting average pops his head out of his clubhouse cubicle.

While Chico is delighted to have the former first round draft choice, defending champion San Diego probably is seeking a bat to replace Graham Koonce, who just became another Golden Leaguer to sign with a major league organization. Milwaukee picked up Koonce, who has 178 career minor league home runs.

The six-team league starts the campaign with San Diego at Yuma, AZ Thursday. The others open Friday night.

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