EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 18, 2007

Big, bad Barry unaffected by Fenway faithful

BOSTON - Boston baseball fans didn't want to see Barry Bonds get any closer to Hank Aaron's hallowed home run record on their watch this weekend.



Nevertheless, in typical Bonds form, he ignored public sentiment yesterday and blasted No. 748 - seven shy of Aaron's mark - before a crowd of 36,137 mostly disappointed Fenway Park fans during a 9-5 Red Sox victory.



When the shot touched down in the park's right field bullpen, there were rounds of cheers before a booming chorus of boos - almost as if fans caught themselves briefly becoming overcome by the historic nature of the moment.



It was Bonds' first and probably lone career home run at Fenway. Interleague play, implemented in 1997, has kept the career National Leaguer out of Boston's local baseball scene for good reason. Prior to this season, San Francisco and Boston were not deemed natural rivals, and thus, the Giants did not make the cross-country trip.



But the thought of making Boston - a city Bonds called racist in 2004 - part of this summer's hold-your-nose home run chase was too much for the baseball big-wigs to pass up.



So the massive slugger played three games under an intense round of boos, steroid chants and hand-held asterisk signs - really no different from many of the other road trips he'll make this summer.



He did nothing to assuage the feelings of the Fenway faithful afterward, praising the city, praising the ballpark, but avoided praising the Boston fan base.



"There were a lot of San Francisco Giants fans throughout the park," Bonds said, explaining the brief round of cheers following No. 748.



In responding to why the cheers switched to boos, Bonds answered, "How can I answer that question? What do you think?"



The truth is Bonds can't answer that question for the same reason the fans are booing. The slugger's cloudy past was documented with absolute certainty in "Game of Shadows," in which writers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams recount the performance-enhancing drugs history of a slugger who has gained no less than 50 pounds since his rookie season.



Others have used, for sure. But others have showed remorse.



Bonds has not.



Instead, he has pointed the finger back at the fans, media and baseball higher-ups, blaming all of us for making his life miserable.



Boston fans, who make no bones about being the best in baseball, wanted to teach Bonds a lesson this weekend. Each plate appearance, the thunderous boos rang down, but as the series progressed, the cries lost their fury.



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