Philly cheesed at Bonds

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- They came to boo Barry Bonds.

Phillies starter Gavin Floyd and Aaron Fultz gave the crowd of 37,269 fans plenty to cheer.

Bonds popped up the first pitch he saw from Floyd in the first, was given an intentional walk in the third (lots of cheers) and grounded into a rare 3-5-4 double play to end the fifth against a Bonds shift.

Fultz struck out Bonds in the eighth. The man chasing Babe Ruth's ghost is hitless in his previous seven at-bats with two strikeouts since he homered in the ninth of Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. In all, there were seven home runs hit in last night's Phillies' 8-3 win. None were hit by Bonds.

Bonds who came into the city of Brotherly Love and Sinister Booing and Heckling needing three homers to pass Babe Ruth for second spot on the career homer list.

Lifted as a defensive replacement in the eighth, Bonds departed the Giants' clubhouse as the media arrived after the game. Bonds said before the game he was only talking if he did something.

He did nothing.

While Major League Baseball did its best at trying to keep out negative signs, a large "Ruth did it on hot dogs and beer" banner was unfurled in left.

A sign reading "Got Roids?" was confiscated, but one reading "Got Juice?" survived. Fans carried signs with asterisks.

While manager Felipe Alou's left fielder wasn't productive, he lost his right-fielder and son when Moises Alou tumbled chasing a foul ball near the right-field wall. Moises was down a long time before being placed on a golf cart.

Bonds walked over from left to check on his friend Alou.

"They were booing and heckling Barry when he came over to check on Mo, that's very cheap, that's not America," the elder Alou said.

Moises Alou left with a severely sprained right ankle and will be placed on the DL today.

"I thought the fans were fine, they created a lot of energy," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said.

Trying to move into second on the career home-run list, Bonds was booed from the time he left the third-base dugout to the batter's box.

When he went to left in the first, fans serenaded him, chanting "Just retire."

David Bell and Bonds were teammates with the 2002 Giants.

"I don't want him to pass Ruth ... not this weekend anyway," said the Phillies third baseman before the game.

"Playing with Barry was a good experience," Bell said. "The thing that amazed me was his tunnel vision. He thrives in situations where he's in the spotlight.

"He's so disciplined at the plate, plenty of hitters get upset and expand their strike zone. Barry doesn't. And he didn't have a lot going on in 2002."

Bonds hit 46 homers that season, a year after setting the single-season record of 73 homers.

Bonds came into Philly under storm clouds that he cheated by using steroids, although baseball has never proven it.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco is investigating whether Bonds lied under oath when he said he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.

"Bonds is one of the greatest of all-time, but this whole thing is bad for baseball," said former Phillies manager Jim Fregosi from Miami last night where he was scouting for the Atlanta Braves.

"Most of the Bonds talk has nothing to do with his home run chase. When the story is not a player's achievements on the field it's bad for the game.

"Steroids are not a good influence on the game," said Fregosi, speaking as an executive and the father of a 15-year-old. His son Robbie plays football.

"I told my son the ill effects they can have on your body. He bench presses, but he knows steroids are bad for your future."

MLB did bow to pressure by deciding to authenticate future Bonds' home run balls. Special balls were shipped from New York to Philadelphia and put in play for every Bonds at-bat.

Everyone hates Bonds, supposedly.

But everyone would love to catch the record homer to sell on eBay. And most everyone was taking snapshots of every Bonds' swing.

That is America.


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