Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sports: 755, 756

Well, the Giants go on the road to play the Dodgers and then the Padres.

If you are the manager of the Dodgers, do you pitch to Bonds?

If you are the manger of the Padres and the record has still not fallen, do you pitch to Bonds?

The Dodgers have the longer history of battles with the Giants.

As a Dodger fan who has been to a number of games in the last few year, there is no question the crowd is especially vocal when the Giants are in town.

The Padre fans seem to be a mellower crowd but they too are divisional rivals and would loath the idea of having Bonds break the record in their park.

Speaking of how riled up Dodger fans can get, the other week, I sat in the left field bleachers and heard some fans heckle Marlon Anderson. Marlon Anderson? Is he really deserving of heckling? So I would imagine the crowd will be in full voice heckling the far more famous or infamous left fielder Barry Bonds. Weisman wonders aloud what will happen at Dodger's stadium if the record falls there on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

So if you are Grady Little, do you order your pitchers to issue the walks or do they go after Bonds and let the chip fall where they fall?

We shall see!

TUESDAY 7/31 - Giants vs. Dodgers, game 1 of this home stand. Penny is penciled in to start but he will have to test his muscle strain and could be a late scratch. Plaschke has an item about the disdain for Bonds among Dodger fans. Excerpt:
It was Sept. 17. The Dodgers had arrived in San Francisco with a two-game lead over the Giants with 11 games remaining.

It was a traditional Dodgers team, filled with five rookies of the year and immersed deeply in Dodgers culture.

The general manager was Fred Claire. The manager was Bill Russell. The stars were the likes of Mike Piazza, Karros and Raul Mondesi.

They had made the playoffs the previous two seasons, losing in the first round each time, but were ready to go further. The kids had grown up. The manager was finding his niche. A return to greatness beckoned.

Four players finished the year with at least 30 homers. Five pitchers won at least 10 games.

"This was a very good team on the verge of something very special," Claire remembered.

All they needed to do was survive San Francisco.

Then, Bonds stepped up in the bottom of the first inning of the first game against a withering Chan Ho Park and changed everything.

With Darryl Hamilton on first base after a walk, Bonds crushed a Park fastball into the cheapest seats in right field for a two-run homer.

Just as the ball disappeared, Bonds' legendary tackiness appeared.

He dropped his bat and pirouetted in front of home plate.....
Post Script: Bonds hit 756 in front of Giant fans on Tuesday night August 7, 2007. Here is the press statement by Hank Aaron and message in his recorded video remarks:
I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on becoming baseball's career home run leader. It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination.

Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball, and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.

My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.



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