Magowan talks to opposing teams about Bonds' home run record
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants owner Peter Magowan is making plans for history -- and he hopes it's soon.
Magowan has been talking to opposing teams about how to best handle the moment when San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds hits his 756th home run to break Hank Aaron's record.
"When he breaks this record, he will have achieved something truly meaningful that I think will stand the test of time," Magowan said on the field before Friday's game with the Florida Marlins.
"When people look back 20 years from now on 'What did Barry Bonds mean to the Giants and what did the home run record mean?' I think the general agreement will be that it was something pretty meaningful."
Magowan wouldn't provide details for how the Giants will pay tribute to Bonds when Aaron's mark falls, but has said it will be similar to the way the club celebrated Bonds' 715th home run last season when he passed Babe Ruth for second on the career list. That moment featured a short delay and the unfurling of large banners from light posts on either side of the main center-field scoreboard. Those special signs are rolled up and ready now.
Bonds hit his 754th homer Friday night, moving with one of tying the Hammer.
While Magowan would rather see Bonds become the new home run king in the Giants' waterfront ballpark, he knows it could happen on the road, where Bonds frequently is booed.
Still, players on other clubs have said they would like to witness history -- and it will be an event wherever he does it. Because Bonds' chase is attracting fans to stadiums each night as he draws closer.
Magowan expects that other teams would be fine with Bonds' teammates coming onto the field to congratulate him, perhaps in extended fashion.
"I think the other teams would do what we kind of asked them to do, within reason," Magowan said.
There is no set schedule of celebratory events that other clubs would follow, Magowan said.
"We've just had discussions with them," he said. "We would be very respectful of where this would happen where a lot of people wouldn't maybe want to see it happen."
Magowan also defended Bonds' $15.8 million, one-year contract.
"Barry's big contract didn't prevent us from making some other big contracts. Barry's contract fit into the budget we had," Magowan said. "I think we'll start winning more consistently once this is behind us."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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