|Bonds' entourage growing by the day as the chase for 755 drags on|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 04 August 2007 09:05|
Don't forget all the stern-faced security guards.
With each day that Barry Bonds' home run chase drags on, the group of people around him grows. Two weeks ago in Chicago, the Rev. Jesse Jackson made an appearance at Wrigley Field to root for Bonds.
This pursuit has become downright diva-like.
And Bonds' godfather, Hall of Famer Willie Mays, was expected to jump aboard the Bonds' road show soon.
``I didn't know he had a posse,'' teammate Kevin Frandsen said. ``I don't think any of us have any idea.''
Everybody seems to want a piece of history when it happens. Bonds headed into Saturday night's middle game at San Diego with 754 home runs, still one away from Hank Aaron's record. He hasn't hit one out since July 27 at home against Florida.
On Friday night, Bonds played only seven innings - a fourth straight early exit for the 43-year-old slugger - but stayed around Petco Park for nearly an hour after San Diego's 4-3, 10-inning victory over Bonds' San Francisco Giants. He walked out of the clubhouse in dark sunglasses and surrounded by his swarm.
``I don't know anything. I'm just along for the ride,'' Bonds' Beverly Hills-based agent, Jeff Borris, said with a grin.
Bonds was greeted by energetic 8-year-old daughter Aisha and wife Liz, and a big group of friends. He posed for photos with a bunch of friends and a baby girl and opted not to talk about his latest homerless performance against the Padres.
Just down the hallway from the informal gathering at the ballpark service entrance, a crying female fan sporting a black ``Bonds 25'' jersey was hauled away in handcuffs.
``Barry's getting a lot of attention and it's well deserved,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Bonds' trainers, Greg Oliver and Harvey Shields, are no longer team employees as agreed to under the slugger's $15.8 million, one-year contract for 2007. They aren't allowed in any restricted areas of ballparks home and away and are now on Bonds' dime. Bonds credits both men for helping him stay loose through stretching, massage and postgame icing.
Another of his trainers, convicted steroids dealer Greg Anderson, is in prison for refusing to testify in the government's perjury probe of the seven-time NL MVP.
``It changes every day,'' Lisa Nitta, one of his two longtime spokeswomen, said of his courtiers. ``It's different family and friends.''
And that doesn't even count all the media assigned to follow his every move. The Padres said about 350 people were credentialed for each day of the weekend series - 250 more than the club's regular number.
``It's unbelievable just how many people,'' Frandsen said.