Think-boo week?

You knew it. You just knew it.

All hell is coming to Dodger Stadium next week, and you are rolling your weary eyes, and squeezing your frozen malt, because, for the love of Roseboro, you just knew it.

You watched Barry Bonds hit his 500th homer against the Dodgers, and you wondered.

You watched Bonds hit his 71st homer against the Dodgers, and you wondered some more.


You saw him creep within two of the all-time career homer record of 755 last week, and you began to worry.

You saw him limp around AT&T; Park this week, and you became sickeningly sure.

Yes, it’s true, the player you despise most, playing for the team you hate most, probably will have a chance to break baseball’s greatest record in your backyard.

Makes you feel like Dusty’s toothpick, no?

For three nights at Dodger Stadium next week, it appears Barry Bonds will take his hacks for the San Francisco Giants with history on the line and histrionics in the stands.

Three nights, a dozen or so swings, and one giant question.

If you are there, what will you do?

You will no doubt roll out numerous cliche “Barry bleeps” chants throughout the game, even though Bonds loves it and some in the Dodgers organization feel it overshadows their efforts.


You will surely hold up signs and point fingers and taunt Giants fans, even though Major League Baseball will bring in extra home-run-chase security to thwart any violence.

But what if Bonds hits the record-tying 755th homer or record-breaking 756th homer here?

What will you do then?

For the several minutes that it will take Bonds to round the bases, you will be speaking for the nation.


In videotape that will be shown for generations, you will symbolize a reaction that will endure forever.

This is not only about witnessing history, but writing it, and what will you do?

In searching for suggestions, I asked three retired Dodgers who were deeply in involved in the rivalry.

Don Newcombe, who once angrily threw a fastball at Willie Mays’ chin, immediately pleaded for the Dodgers to not even give Bonds a chance.


“I would not let him have the privilege of breaking the record at Dodger Stadium, no way,” Newcombe said. “I would pitch around him every time.”

The thing is, Bonds’ bat has become so slow -- six hits in his last 42 at-bats -- that there’s no reason to pitch around him.

After the Dodgers held Bonds hitless in 12 at-bats in their series after the All-Star break, there’s no way Grady Little is going to tell his pitchers to dance.

So we’re back to that question.


What do you do?

Oddly enough, all three retired Dodgers said they would do the same thing.

They dislike the sight of the Giants, but they respect the sanctity of baseball, and so, tepidly and carefully, they said they would cheer.

Newcombe, whose close friend Jackie Robinson immediately retired rather than be traded to the Giants, said baseball is bigger than even the swollen Bonds.


“I saw them booing that young man Russell Martin at the All-Star game, so we certainly have a right to boo Barry Bonds,” Newcombe said. “But if baseball is going to honor him, then I think fans should do the same thing.”

Maury Wills, who once watched as the Giants’ groundskeepers flooded the basepaths during his stealing days, said humanity is bigger than history.

“Boo him coming up, but applaud him coming home,” Wills said. “I don’t have any love for that team, and we all would hate to see it happen here, but this one time, I think Dodger fans need to show some compassion for the record.”

Tommy Davis, who said he nearly climbed into the Candlestick Park stands several times to help a Dodgers fan who was being attacked, said Bonds had been mugged enough.


“If you are a true Dodger fan, no matter how much you hate him, you will give him his due,” Davis said. “I don’t care if he’s guilty or not, he still has to swing the bat, see the ball, play in all those games, and that makes him a great champion.”

One might think that the patchwork Dodgers pitching staff will feel the most pressure. When Eric Hull was recently brought up from triple A, he probably had no idea his quick trip could include a stop in infamy.

But, as the pitchers who allowed the landmark Mark McGwire and Bonds homers would attest, life goes on. Few remember that Chan Ho Park gave up Bonds’ 71st, and does anybody remember that Steve Trachsel yielded McGwire’s 62nd?

Besides, Alex Rodriguez is eventually going to break Bonds’ record anyway, so the newest goat will just be keeping the seat warm.


In a tougher spot, truly are the Dodgers fans.

So what do you do?

To cheer Bonds, to cheer anyone from his team, is to betray your baseball soul. With all due respect to the former Dodgers heroes, it is tough to ask Dodgers fans to applaud not only a Giant, but a giant cheater.

But then, to boo Bonds is to disrespect the game’s greatest record. Once that ball settles into a pavilion, there will be no asterisk, no explanation, only an indelible record and a videotape of you ... jeering it?


At the time, booing might seem perfect. Twenty years from now, it will seem petty.

So, is there something you can say that shows you support baseball’s history without supporting the villain who has stolen it?





Greet the loudest hit in baseball history with a silence that will fill Dodger Stadium with dignified dissent, a silence that might fill someone’s ear hole with a tad of remorse, a silence that will last a lifetime.

Talk about a shot heard round the world.



Bill Plaschke can be reached at To read previous columns by Plaschke, go to