As the Giants slugger inched himself one homer short of tying Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list, Philadelphia fans quickly turned their raucous behavior into a standing ovation half-filled with cheers and flashbulbs popping throughout Citizens Bank Park.
“I don’t really pay that much attention to it,” Bonds said of the crowd during a post-game press conference. “It’s just the fact that they’re supposed to be mature people, too, and yet they kind of have to look at themselves and their own children as well.
“They bring their kids and say a lot of things in front of their kids. Your kids look up to you as well. If that’s how you want your own children to be raised then that’s your own problem.”
For much of the three-game series, Phillies fans were giving Bonds the royal treatment, showering him with the routine boos and toting customary “asterisk”, “cheater” and “BALCO” signs, which littered across the stands.
The Giants All-Star wasn’t impressed, however.
"Dodger Stadium was worse than here," said Bonds, who went 2-for-3. "This was light. This was nothing. L.A. beats them."
And speaking of beating, there was an actual game played Sunday.
Jon Lieber (2-4) stymied the Giants (14-17) through seven innings to pick up the victory, the only blemish being the 90-mph fastball he served up to Bonds.
“It was a sinker he didn't miss,” said Lieber, who watched the ball sail 450 feet until it hit the façade of the third deck in right field. “He knows the type of pitcher I am. I'm gonna challenge him. That's what happens when you fall behind hitters like that.”
San Francisco starter Matt Morris (2-3) fell behind early and took the loss for his third consecutive decision.
“The execution is just not there,” said Morris of his seven-run performance. “I'm just trying to go out there and get outs and give these guys a chance, but today was the opposite of that.”
The Giants hardly had any chance in Sunday’s game and are probably glad to be heading home from a treacherous road trip, one in which they lost four of five games.
“Sometimes going home can lift you a little bit,” said first baseman Mark Sweeney, who hit his third homer of the season. “This wasn't a good trip, obviously, but we still have to grind it out.
“It's not like we can sit here and quit. We know it's going to turn around, and we want it to happen sooner than later.”
San Francisco has a chance to turn it around as soon as Monday when they meet the Houston Astros at the ballpark on 24 Willie Mays Plaza. The contest is a rescheduled makeup of the rained-out game from April 12.
The Giants will welcome back starter Noah Lowry, who has been on the disabled list since April 7. Lowry has pitched just one inning all season.
He will be opposed by Astros ace Roy Oswalt (5-1, 2.86 ERA), who will most likely miss out in facing Barry Bonds and thus avoid being branded into major league baseball history.
Bonds is scheduled to take Monday off after a long, late cross-country flight back to San Francisco from Philadelphia.
Despite the aches and pains, the star left fielder has managed to keep a positive demeanor, unlike seasons past.
“I’m having a lot of fun with these guys, a lot of fun,” Bonds said of his 2006 teammates. “I can’t be appreciative enough on the support that they’ve given me.
“They made me a little bit softer, which is really good and I don’t want to go back to that cold-hearted guy anymore.”
SFDugout.com player of the game: Barry Lamar Bonds, as he continues to persevere against the wall of hatred put up by fans across America.
When asked what advice he can offer young stars such as Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, Bonds said: “I just tell them to have fun, enjoy (the game). Enjoy it for as long as you can and get everything you can out of it. You don’t know how long that window’s gonna be open for you. You can get hurt and end your career tomorrow. Enjoy it and get the best out of this game so you don’t have anything to look back at.”
Despite the perception that fans aren’t cheering for Bonds, we can all agree that we will look back decades from now and tell our children that we witnessed history, regardless of all the scandals that have tried to penetrate through its integrity.
Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at email@example.com to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.
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