Hostile crowd sees Bonds go hitless
Slugger reiterates he'll donate mementos to Hall of Fame
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers fans got their money's worth Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, booing and jeering Barry Bonds in more of a sustained cacophony than he has heard anywhere during the course of his chase."It was pretty bad," said shortstop Omar Vizquel after the Giants won, 3-1, their seventh victory in the last 11 games since the real media crush began when Bonds drew within three homers of Hank Aaron's all-time Major League-leading record of 755. More than likely, he'll be back in the starting lineup to take more mass harassment Wednesday night, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Bonds is stalled at 754 and has gone three games and 16 plate appearances (including one hit and seven walks) since he homered in the first inning against the Marlins on Friday night at San Francisco. No matter. The fans booed when Bonds stepped into the on-deck circle, jeered throughout all four of his plate appearances, moaned if he even moved in left field and chastised him if he made a play or didn't, particularly when his one-hop throw to the plate was pretty late as Rafael Furcal singled home Ramon Martinez with the game's first run in the second inning. Of course, they were also pretty riled up when Dodgers right-hander Brad Penny was told to walk Bonds intentionally during the third inning with a runner on third, one out and a run in. At the time, Penny told home-plate umpire Ed Hickox to dispense with the authenticated balls that must be used now every time Bonds steps to the plate. But to no avail, of course, all the while the fans seemingly confused about jeering Bonds or the situation. The intentional walk was the right move at the time since Ryan Klesko followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play. "They were pretty consistent," Vizquel said about the fans. "They booed everything." Bonds, who is at the nexus of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, stepped to the plate in the first inning with two out and Ray Durham on first. Booooo, came the cat calls from the sellout crowd of 56,000. Called strike, followed by a wave of cheers. Then those boos, again. Called strike. Loud applause and derisive laughter. Boos redux. Check-swing strikeout to much enthusiasm. All the while flash cameras lit up the stadium as fans hoped to get a picture of immortality. But Bonds took only one full swing and two check swings in the 15 pitches he faced, reaching safely on a botched pop by shortstop Furcal overplaying toward the right in the shift before being replaced by a pinch-runner during the seventh inning. "I don't know, the crowd was pretty normal, I thought," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You looked up at [the crowd] and saw a lot of people booing. But we saw a lot of people cheering, too." Bonds went 0-for-2 on the night with a pair of walks, giving him 107 already on the season, 32 of them intentional in 92 games, both good enough to lead the Major Leagues. Last year, Bonds walked 115 times, 38 of them intentional in 130 games. Bonds is 43 and just came off his worst month of the season: a .186 July with four homers and 11 RBIs after a .364 June with four homers and 13 RBIs. And the July numbers were skewed by his 3-for-3, two-homer, six-RBI day on July 19 at Wrigley Field. "That's what's amazing about it," Bochy said. "He's 43 and he's still getting walked more than anybody, whether it's intentionally walked or unintentionally walked. That still tells you how good he is and how much trouble they think he is even at his age." For good or bad, the chase evidently has captured nearly everyone's fancy. The Giants have played in front of 21 consecutive sellouts dating back to a throng of 30,080 on July 5 in Cincinnati and the Dodgers have announced that tickets for Wednesday and Thursday night's games are already gone. Finito. Commissioner Bud Selig was back in attendance after missing the weekend set in San Francisco to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jeff Idelson, the Hall of Fame vice president who visited with Bonds on June 26, has returned after Sunday's induction of Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. that drew a record crowd of 75,000 behind the Clark Sports Center. Idelson is hoping to secure the batting helmets Bonds wears when he ties and breaks Aaron's record, as the slugger promised more than a month ago. The Hall, Idelson noted, didn't immediately receive any items from Aaron when he hit his 715th homer to pass Babe Ruth into first place in Atlanta on April 8, 1974. The Hall now has the complete uniform Aaron wore that day and the third-base bag that Aaron stepped on as he headed toward home and history. But those items weren't procured until after Aaron was inducted into the Hall along with Frank Robinson in 1982, eight years after the feat. Bonds also reiterated this week that he will allow the Hall to take his complete uniform, including cleats and cap, from either homers 755 or 756 after he retires, which could be no earlier than the end of the 2008 season. Bonds has several wall spaces in his Beverly Hills home among his seven MVP trophies and mementos from other milestone homers ready and waiting for the historic blasts. "If they want 756, I'll keep 755," Bonds said. "If they want 755, I'll keep 756. Right now, though, I'm going to enjoy them both myself for a while." But at this point, he must still hit the homers, with left-hander Mark Hendrickson and right-hander Brett Tomko and more hostile crowds waiting in the wings for Bonds here the next two nights.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.