Bonds Breaking Record Would Strike Sour Chord

A recap of the news while wondering if the folks over at Wimbledon might ever consider artificial turf and a retractable roof.

News item: Barry Bonds chases baseball's single-season home run record of 70.

Second thought: Read my quips, I do not want Bonds to break Mark McGwire's record. Bonds has spent his career playing petulant with the press, the fans' conduit, and now we're supposed to get all lovey-dovey?

No choked-up, pumped-up, salary-driven public relations make over can undo a decade of angry stares.

As for Bonds eclipsing the record, here are six things I would rather see:

* Roseanne taking another crack at the national anthem.

* Tom Lasorda eating spaghetti with a spoon.

* Dennis Rodman getting a tattoo removed.

* John Rocker speaking at a gun show.

* Disney purchasing another sports franchise.

* Bobby Cox modeling a Speedo.

News item: "Bozo the Clown" set to retire Aug. 26.

Second thought: Georgia basketball Coach Jim Harrick says he harbors no hard feelings toward Bozo and wishes nothing but success for the UCLA athletic department.

(Reference: Harrick's March, 2001 comments to The Times regarding his one-time employment at UCLA: "When you work for Bozo the Clown, you know what's going to happen.")

News item: More than 40 defense witnesses expected to testify at upcoming Olympic trial.

Second thought: Remember when it used to be 40 athletes competing at the upcoming Olympic Trials?

News item: Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus at Notre Dame and co-chair of the Knight Commission report on college athletics, says, "We're not in the entertainment business, nor are we a minor league for professional sports."

Second thought: For what it's worth, Notre Dame football enjoys an exclusive, multimillion-dollar contract with NBC and has produced, since 1920, more than 400 players who have played in the National Football League, American Football League or All-America Football Conference.

To be fair, Irish football also boasted a 100% graduation rate for the freshman class of 1995-96.

News item: Golfer charged with animal cruelty after clubbing to death an exotic black swan at a ritzy, Donald Trump-owned golf course.

Second thought: I take back everything I wrote about golf two Mondays ago. It's an honorable game played by civilized men.

News item: Former Dallas Cowboy receiver "Bullet" Bob Hayes, the 1964 Olympic 100-meter champion, will be inducted this fall into the team's Ring of Honor.

Second thought: We hear ceremony is expected to be over in 10 seconds flat.

News item: Luc Robitaille signs as free agent with Detroit Red Wings.

Second thought: Outrageous. The last time the Kings did something this unpardonable, trading Rob Blake to Colorado, the team went on a playoff tear and nearly upended the eventual Stanley Cup champions.

Who are the Kings trying to become, the Seattle Mariners?

News item: Greg Maddux, with a 10-5 record and a league-leading 2.41 ERA, does not make the National League All-Star team.

Second thought: Sounds like Cliff Floyd had Bobby Valentine pegged.

News item: Dodger pitcher Darren Dreifort out for the season with arm injury.

Second thought: There are about 55 million comebacks for this one.

News item: Another boxer dies in ring.

Second thought: When will it end? The next boxing-cable television venture ought to be titled: "Hematoma After Dark."

News item: Pedro Martinez, three-time Cy Young winner, goes on the disabled list because of shoulder injury; Delino DeShields signs with Chicago Cubs after being waived by Baltimore.

Second thought: I had wondered what became of the players in the years since the Dodgers traded Martinez for DeShields.

News item: Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell writes that Randy Johnson has a chance this year to break Sandy Koufax's single-season strikeout record of 383.

Second thought: This would be news to Nolan Ryan, who broke Koufax's record of 382 by striking out 383 batters in 1973.

News item: Boston pitcher David Cone turns down a boom-box in the clubhouse during an interview, later telling the Hartford Courant, "I respect you guys have a job to do."

Second thought: That's one small step for man, one giant leap toward Hall of Fame induction.

News item: Pepsi 400 grand marshal Britney Spears mobbed by autograph seekers in garage area while ESPN football analyst Lee Corso walks through unnoticed.

Second thought: Go figure.

News item: Fernando Valenzuela refuses to participate in festivities to commemorate "Fernandomania."

Second thought: Could it be Fernando won't show because he doesn't want fans to see he's actually 80 years old?

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