|Soriano thrilled to be playing on NL roster with Bonds|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 09 July 2007 21:30|
No matter that Bonds passed up the Chicago Cubs' star in the final week to win a starting outfield spot for the National League by a landslide.
If Soriano doesn't get enough time with the San Francisco slugger during the All-Star game festivities, the two will be facing off in four games starting Monday at Wrigley Field.
``After the All-Star break, we're playing. I'll joke with him,'' Soriano said, referring to getting bumped out of the starting lineup. ``He's the king of home runs. Maybe I'll have a chance to talk to him. That would be exciting for me.''
Bonds, who has 751 homers and is four shy of tying Hank Aaron's record, trailed Soriano 1,332,581 to 1,213,423 when vote totals were released last Monday. Bonds received 1,111,968 votes over the final few days to finish with 2,325,391 - 122,878 ahead of Soriano.
``I have 2 million friends that you guys didn't know about,'' Bonds said Monday.
And Soriano didn't mind. After all, the game is in Bonds' home ballpark. The Giants' star is approaching 43 and might not play in another midsummer classic. This is Bonds' 14th All-Star selection in 22 major league seasons and his first since 2004.
``Barry got it,'' Soriano said. ``I'm not surprised it happened. It's here in San Francisco and I'm happy for him and very excited he'll start in left field here in San Francisco.''
ALCOHOL-FREE ZONE: The All-Star clubhouses are dry, with no alcohol allowed on either the American League or National League side for this year's events.
Major League Baseball wasn't sure whether that had ever been the case previously. But it is becoming more of a trend by individual clubs, in spite of critics such as White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
ing sport utility vehicle at a stop light.
At least 13 teams now prohibit beer and other alcoholic beverages from being consumed in the clubhouse, several spurred by Hancock's death.
MISSING LEGENDS: Craig Biggio got his 3,000th hit in the first half of the season. Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 600 and Frank Thomas hit his 500th.
But all three are missing this week at the All-Star game, once again raising the question if baseball should have some sort of career achievement award for this game. AL manager Jim Leyland said he thought about that but determined it was too difficult to draw a line on which players to add.
NL manager Tony La Russa said he would have liked to have Biggio on his team but it's too tough with the rosters at their current size of 32.
``So the only way to make that happen is for MLB to say, 'Look, we're going to have a distinguished career spot to add to the 32 you get because it's unfair to take somebody off for somebody who is deserving because of their lifetime achievements,''' La Russa said.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter advocated expanding the roster anyway because there are deserving players who don't make the game.
MANNY BEING MANNY: One side of the room was lined with Red Sox: David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. There was one empty table though, as Manny Ramirez didn't show up for the media availability.
``I just made sure he got to San Francisco,'' Ortiz said. ``After that, I have no control.''
Ramirez usually skips the Monday media availability so this was no surprise. He also was held out of the lineup Sunday at Detroit because of a stomach ailment. The 11-time All-Star is expected to play in the game Tuesday night.
Ramirez, one of six Red Sox players on the AL roster, is hitting .284 with 11 homers and 45 RBIs.
``I think he was a little surprised to be here,'' Lowell said. ``He didn't have the same numbers he usually has, but I do know he's happy to be here. Manny is hard to talk to about a lot of topics. He's a hard worker but he's in his own world.''
BAKERS AND BONDS: Barry Bonds was handed some cookies before taking batting practice.
Marjorie Johnson of Minneapolis, acting as correspondent for ``The Tonight Show,'' gave Barry the ginger snaps in the dugout. Bonds tried one of her cookies and told her he thought they were good.
Bonds then left Johnson and walked back on the field. He stood by the cage and chatted with AL manager Jim Leyland, his manager in Pittsburgh. He hugged David Ortiz and Lloyd McLendon and signed the back of 8-year-old Darren Baker's No. 25 Giants jersey.
The boy's father, Dusty, managed Bonds for 10 years in San Francisco. Dusty Baker - on hand to broadcast the Home Run Derby for ESPN - was asked if the pressure of the home run chase was getting to Bonds. Baker responded: ``Why should it? Life is good.''
Bonds then took six rounds of batting practice and hit seven homers, including one into the cove and two to dead center.
AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow contributed this story.