SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Barry Bonds said Saturday it’s up to Major League Baseball and the Giants to decide how much security is needed around him as he closes in on Hank Aaron’s home run record.
“It’s being addressed to ensure the safety of our players and employees,” Giants spokesman Blake Rhodes said.
In the seventh inning of San Francisco’s home game with Arizona on Friday night, a male fan wearing no shoes hopped the fence along the left-field line and ran out to greet the slugger. Andrew Clapp, 24, of Fargo, N.D., faces charges of public drunkenness and interfering with a sporting event.
“It is a big concern, but the guy came out, jumped on the field, had his hands up and said, ‘I just want to shake your hand,’ screaming,” Bonds said. “I said, ‘Fine, come shake my hand.’ … I said, ‘Let’s just walk back together, though, so these guys don’t throw you on the ground and you’ll show them that you mean no harm.”‘
The 42-year-old Bonds, who hit his 750th homer an inning later to pull within five of tying the Hammer, said there is “no reason for me to be in fear.” But Bonds – disliked by most fans around the league because of his alleged steroid use during his pursuit – said during spring training he has received death threats but hasn’t elaborated. Aaron, too, was threatened during his chase of Babe Ruth during the 1973 season.
“I felt safe with him. You come at me one-on-one, you better come with a lot, jack,” Bonds said. “More than one-on-one is the time to get nervous.”
Bonds knows there could be more incidents in road ballparks in the coming weeks. The team begins a six-game trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis on Tuesday. Major League Baseball has had discussions with clubs about how they will handle security when Bonds comes to town. The seven-time NL MVP had an MLB-issued security officer with him during spring training in each of the past two years.
What happens next to protect him he says is up to someone else to figure out.
“Why would you be asking me that question? Shouldn’t you ask the people who said there’s heightened security?” Bonds said. “You should go to MLB and direct that question to them. I don’t think that should be mine to answer, because I’m not in charge.
“It’s not fair for you to put me in the paper that Barry thinks, when it’s not Barry’s problem. It’s fair for you to ask them what their responsibilities are to all of us, not just me, all of us as major league baseball players.”
This is about all of us as major league baseball players, not just me. … This isn’t my stadium. I just work here. That’s all I do. I’m an employee, just like everybody else is.”
The Giants did a trial run with metal detectors at some gates Friday leading up to the All-Star game July 10. The metal detectors were to be fully operational for Sunday afternoon’s series finale with the Diamondbacks in order to be used again for the Futures game.
on July 8.