Well, Barry Bonds will have seven games at AT&T Park in San Francisco to hit three home runs and surpass Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. If Barry doesn't, the team will be back on the road for another six games. Which brings me to Phillips, who once again on Baseball Tonight, suggested that the Giants sit Bonds on the road if he doesn't hit three home runs in the next seven games:
This has to happen at home...he better get the three home runs at home, and if he doesn't, I think the Giants have to sit him on the road against both the Dodgers and the Padres. You think about everything that's going on -- this is about history right now. This is bigger than the game. This is bigger than this pennant race so far this year. It ultimately comes back to what are the clips, what are the sound clips, what are the video clips, you want for history's sake to look back on this. If you look at the worst-case scenario, if Barry Bonds has to break this on the road in Los Angeles against their biggest rivals, what will that be? That will be booing, that will be people throwing things on the field, that will be people possibly coming on the field. The worst-case scenario could be very very ugly here. I think ultimately, the fact here is they're playing the Dodgers and Padres, so it's not going to impact the integrity of the schedule for that division race. And I know the knee-jerk reaction for everyone to say you're crazy, you can't do it, but for baseball's sake, this is exactly what has to happened.He was then challenged by John Kruk who was shocked that Phillips could just discount the Rockies and Diamondbacks from the race, making it less fair from them. Phillips continued:
It doesn't matter about that race; it's what is in the best interest of baseball right now. This race -- I know the Dodgers fans are crying, I know the Diamondbacks fans are crying -- the reality is, when we look back at this legacy for what Bonds is to the history of the game, it has to be people cheering for this record. It would be very very ugly right now.Dusty Baker agreed with Phillips that he felt Barry wanted to break it at home, but Baker felt Barry wanted to get it over with as soon as possible more than anything else. Kruk thought that fans would appreciate the record being broken and would cheer even if it's for a hated player -- just like Cubs fans did at Wrigley. But it was Karl Ravech who was most incensed.
Ravech pointed out that Phillips was trying to manipulate history, setting up a situation so that Barry would be cheered. Ravech thought that the circumstance should represent reality; if Bonds is met with so much hatred from fans, that should be part of him breaking the record. Bonds has made his bed, why shouldn't he sleep in it?
It's a great question and I side with Ravech and Kruk here. It would be flat out wrong for the Giants to sit Barry Bonds out for entire road trips to manipulate the way this moment is captured in history. And yes, Barry's absence in the lineup greatly affects the race, and makes the Giants a significantly worse team.
Previously at FanHouse:
Barry Bonds News
Home Run Chase