Bonds' son might not be working as bat boy when dad breaks HR mark
Nikolai Bonds tore two ligaments in his left ankle last week when he dunked during a pickup basketball game and came down on someone's foot -- and now the 17-year-old is hobbling around the clubhouse in a walking boot for the initial stage of what is expected to be a two-month recovery.
That means he might not be in a Giants uniform working as a bat boy when his father breaks Hank Aaron's home run record, as the younger Bonds has been for many of his dad's other milestones in recent years.
"He'll still be there," Barry Bonds said. "It's not serious. I don't think anything's that serious at 17. Who says he won't be down there. Who knows? We're not there yet."
Bonds' pursuit of Aaron's record has slowed significantly since his quick start this season. The San Francisco slugger had hit 11 homers by May 8, but has only hit four in 111 at-bats since then. His last, No. 749 of his career and 15th this season, came Friday against the Yankees.
Bonds wasn't scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the San Diego Padres, and the Giants have a day off Thursday.
"He's just going to try to do it quick," Nikolai Bonds said. "That's what I would do. That's the smartest thing to do. I'll still be there."
The younger Bonds has had a front-row view for many of his father's milestones, so watching history from the stands would be a new perspective.
"Seventy, 71, 72, all of those, and 660," he said, referring to when his dad broke the single-season home run record in 2001 and then tied godfather Willie Mays for third place on the career list with No. 660 in 2004. "I wasn't there for 700, but I was there for 715 and also 714 in Oakland."
For this milestone, Barry Bonds might be blowing a kiss and waving to Nikolai the way he does to his two daughters and wife, Liz. Typically, Nikolai is waiting for his dad with a congratulatory hug at home plate.
"We'll probably all come down on the field and give him hugs," Nikolai said. "I'll still be there with him."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press