Selig will pass on Bonds' game Thursday, to resume following HR chase Friday
Bonds entered Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with 754 home runs, one short of tying Hank Aaron's record.
Selig had planned to fly to Minneapolis on Thursday to participate in the Twins' groundbreaking for a new stadium. But that event was canceled Wednesday after an entire span of an interstate bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour.
Selig will travel to Milwaukee on Thursday and miss the series finale in Los Angeles, leaving Hall of Famer Frank Robinson to represent Major League Baseball. Selig planned to rejoin Bonds on Friday in San Diego.
Bonds finished 0-for-3 with an intentional walk against the Dodgers on Wednesday night, leaving for a pinch-runner in the eighth.
Until recently, Selig had been undecided on whether to be present when the record falls. But Wednesday marked the eighth Giants game he has attended.
"Depending on the weekend, we'll be up to 11, so I don't think there's anybody that can say that I haven't made a Herculean effort," he said. "In fact, I've been having a lot of people who are stunned that I'm still at this."
Selig admitted that he has felt torn about following Bonds while New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine is closing in on his 300th victory. Glavine pitched Tuesday night in Milwaukee, Selig's hometown, but remained stuck at 299.
"I got to know Tommy well through the labor negotiations, and I have an enormous amount of respect for him," the commissioner said. "He's really a wonderful young man in every way. I know he's going to go for the 300th again in Chicago Sunday night, but I can only be in one place."
After weighing his priorities, Selig said he felt he should be in San Diego through the weekend.
Selig knows Bonds is in for a rough reception if the record-breaker is hit away from San Francisco.
"He'll have quite a different reaction than if he hit it in San Francisco. It goes for everywhere on the road. That's just the reality of the situation," Selig said. "I don't necessarily think it's good or bad. You're always going to have some controversy."
He reiterated that he hasn't spoken to Bonds.
"At this point, there really is no reason to," Selig said. "He's got a lot on his mind. I'll do that, as I've often said, at the appropriate time."
The commissioner wouldn't publicly commit to being at any games beyond the three-game series against the Padres that begins Friday in San Diego.
"I'll play each day as it comes," he said. "We have a lot of things going on, we have owners' meetings coming up and a lot of things. I'll do the best I can."
The former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, Selig has been friends for years with Aaron, who began his career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves and ended it in 1976 with the Brewers.
In 1974, commissioner Bowie Kuhn was criticized when he was not at the ballpark in Atlanta when Aaron hit his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth. Kuhn was at the game in Cincinnati when Aaron tied Ruth.
"This has been a tough experience, I don't mind telling you," said Selig, who has maintained that his busy schedule makes following Bonds difficult.
"Eventually, I do have a lot to do and there's an awful lot going on. Somebody once wrote they didn't really know what the commissioner does, he pushed paper clips around. I guess I do that at night, but during the day, honestly, there is some work to be done."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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