Barry ain't seen, or heard, nothing yet

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

MILWAUKEE -- And now the fun starts.

Barry Bonds has played 23 games this season. None like the one tonight at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

The man who would be home run king plays his first game in the eastern time zone tonight. He can expect more fans and more boos than any other game this season.

He will be in front of Philadelphia sports fans, who once booed Santa Claus in the Christmas Day parade.

Philadelphia security will try to keep the faithful from "upgrading" their reputation.

J.D. Drew played at Veterans Stadium for the first time in 1999, after he spurned the Phillies who drafted him in '97. Batteries were thrown at Drew as he stood in centre.

Bonds, who didn't start yesterday's 7-4 loss to the Brewers here yesterday afternoon, was stranded in the on-deck circle when Pedro Feliz flew out to end the game.

The worst on-field experience, so far, for Bonds was the season opener, April 3 in San Diego, which ranks on the bottom end of the unofficial stadia list of unruly fans.

After San Diego, Bonds appeared in home games -- where he has been cheered mostly -- and on the road in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver and the previous two days in Milwaukee where only 38,396 showed up.

Phillies righty Cory Lidle warmed up the natives for tonight as he was quoted in Thursday's Philadelphia Daily News, scorching Bonds, saying: "I don't want to see him break records. If he breaks them, it will be a shame, because I think when all is said and done, the truth will come out. I'm not a player-hater. I like to see players get paid as much as they can. But without friggin' cheating."

Lidle, the former Blue Jay, is not scheduled to start any of the three games for the Phillies. Two Giants were not surprised to hear that.

"Everyone has an opinion on Barry," shortstop Omar Vizquel said.

Veteran infielder Jose Vizcaino was surprised to hear Lidle -- with a career 72-65 record, making him 228 wins shy of Cooperstown -- would zing Bonds.

"Wow! For any current player to say stuff like that - he should probably have proof before saying something like that," Vizcaino said. "How can you know for sure if it is true or not?"

Vizcaino said he wanted to see that paper and "I want to make sure I get it as soon as we get to Philly (last night)."

The soon-to-be king was not talking yesterday as he did not play in the field.

Bonds heads into the Philadelphia din with 712 career homers, needing two to tie Babe Ruth and three to pass him. Hank Aaron holds the all-time mark of 755.

Sign-making fans have been at work wherever Bonds has played.

In San Diego the placards read: "Hank Hero, Barry Zero," "Greatest Cheater of the Era," and "Barr-roid."

In Denver, a fan wore a tall hat shaped like a syringe and a shirt with "Got 'Roids" printed on the front. One sign read: "Bonds Is Bad For Baseball."

At Dodger Stadium, fans chanted "Just Re-tire!" and "Barry Sucks!"

In Phoenix, a fan hurled a tube of muscle-pain reliever at the slugger.

A San Diego a fan threw a giant toy syringe at Bonds in left field. Philly fans will have syringes confiscated at the gate tonight.

Bonds had been labelled a cheater and a liar. He may face perjury if it is proven he lied to a grand jury. Then commissioner Bud Selig could try to suspend him.

One headache after another, but next in his day book is the noisy cauldron he'll walk into tonight.


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