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Dear Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres,


I’m sure you’ve all heard the latest news. Barry Bonds continues to chase Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. He’s at 754 right now, and only needs two homers to set the new record. We’ve reached the point where it’s inevitable. Bonds will have the record in only a matter of time. And then Alex Rodriguez will break it, followed by Albert Pujols.


The only thing we don’t know is when Bonds will set the new record. Just getting to 754 has been an exercise in futility. Now that he’s pressing to hit home runs, Bonds has considerably slowed his pace. However, he may break the record today in Los Angeles. Or he may break it this Saturday in San Diego.


There’s one thing that we do know, and that’s the perfect way to greet Bonds when he strides to the plate: a hearty chorus of boos. He’s been booed before. It’s routine. You fans in Los Angeles and San Diego need to establish a new precedent for booing. Boo throughout his entire at bat. Bring syringes to the park. Create never-seen-before signs. Do something. Do anything.


Does that sound a little over the top? Maybe.


The all-time home run record is not only the most beautiful thing in baseball. It’s the most important record in all of sports. Hank Aaron set the mark, and he’ll always be remembered as the greatest ambassador this sport has ever seen. Bud Selig, the commissioner of the sport, has thought of every possible way to avoid following Bonds’ record-breaking chase.


But now the steroid-laden slugger wants that record. Bonds wants to ruin the all-time home run record, just as he did the single-season home run record, at least after Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa made a mockery of it.


If we boo Bonds, it’s a sign that baseball fans disown steroid users. We appreciate the players who did things the right way. Those in San Diego know what the right way is. It’s going about the game like Tony Gwynn did. In his Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday, Gwynn talked about putting in the hard work. None of that includes “flaxseed oil.”


Fans in Los Angeles already have reason enough to boo Bonds. He is a member of your biggest rivals, the Giants. He is their star player, and he may be on the verge of making one of your pitchers remembered throughout history for the wrong reason. If that is not enough of a reason to boo, then get ready for Thursday. On that day, your team will be hosting a steroids awareness day. What better way to show kids how bad steroids are then thoroughly booing Bonds?


There are those who say, “Be a true baseball fan, cheer as history is being made.” How can someone cheer when Bonds, perhaps the biggest jerk in modern-day baseball, takes down a record baseball fans should hold dear to them? How can someone cheer Bonds on, when we all know he used illegal performance-enhancing substances to get to where he is?


So fans, let’s see how creative you can be. The baseball world, both present day and future, will be turned in your direction. Give Barry Bonds the greeting he deserves.




Daniel Paulling