|Dodger fans dislike Bonds, but want to snag homer ball|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2007 19:54|
``I want to be here to see it. It's history, regardless,'' Greg Montoya said Tuesday night in between bites of a Dodger Dog in the all-you-can-eat right field pavilion.
He spoke for a lot of folks when he said, ``I came to catch the ball, even though I'm a Dodger fan.''
Montoya and his buddy, Mitch Sgro, were among the few outfield fans who didn't come clutching gloves.
``We're big boys. We're getting that ball,'' Montoya said.
Sgro added, ``I'll walk over a little kid.''
No one got a souvenir on this night. Bonds went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks before leaving in the seventh inning of San Francisco's game against Los Angeles.
``We expected Barry to hear from the crowd, but it wasn't bad,'' San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Fans who arrived early for batting practice didn't boo Bonds, who hit six balls into the seats during his five rounds while being closely watched by a herd of media. Young boys scrambled for any balls that landed in the outfield seats.
A helicopter circled over Dodger Stadium during batting practice.
Bonds remained at 754 homers, one shy of tying Hank Aaron's record. He was jeered by the sellout crowd of 56,000 each trip to the plate as cameras flashed around the stadium.
``It amazes me how 55,000 can boo that loudly, but still be taking pictures,'' Giants center fielder Dave Roberts said.
Bonds took a called third strike in his first at-bat and drew an intentional walk from Brad Penny his next time up. He walked in the sixth and reached on an error in the seventh when shortstop Rafael Furcal dropped a popup. Bonds then left for a pinch-runner.
``We hope he hits it out in a loss and that I catch it,'' George Silva said.
``He's going to push me out of the way,'' said his credit union co-worker, Danitza Diaz.
Silva wasn't worried about spilling his soft drink or getting nacho cheese on his clothing in pursuit of what could be a real splash shot into the all-you-can-eat seats.
``If I catch it, I can buy 3 million of these,'' he said, waving a Dodger Dog.
Michelle Martinez also wasn't worried about staining her clothing.
``I'd pay for everybody's dry cleaning,'' she said.
But Martinez knew what she would like to have happen to the historic ball.
``I'd give anything to have the person who catches the ball give it back to him if he would admit he took those drugs,'' she said, referring to allegations that Bonds has used steroids.
Ricardo Cardenas brought his 9-year-old son Ricardo Jr. along in case history was made.
``I don't think he deserves it. He pretty much cheated,'' Cardenas said about Bonds soon owning the record. ``It's a moment, not a good moment.''
As he took the field before batting practice, a radio reporter asked the 43-year-old slugger if he was having fun with the home run pursuit.
``I'm just an old man with a cane,'' Bonds replied.
Several fans dressed in Giants caps, T-shirts and jerseys were sprinkled among the field boxes behind the first base dugout.
A few of them yelled Bonds' first name, while others commanded, ``Sign my ball, Barry,'' and ``Come on, Barry, wave back,'' which the slugger did once. One man yelled, ``I love you, Barry!''
Devin Cardona sat along the first-base line in an orange T-shirt and black Giants cap.
``He hasn't been caught with anything and hasn't been convicted,'' Cardona said.
That didn't stop Dodger fans sitting behind home plate from holding up asterisk signs.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said before the game that he expected fans to be fired-up, but respectful.
``It's an exciting series against our archrivals and I'm very, very confident that Dodger fans will act with dignity and class as at they always do,'' he said. ``I'd like to see our fans set an example for other franchises by focusing on cheering in a positive way for their team, as opposed to focusing any energy whatsoever in a negative fashion towards another player or another team.''