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October 5, 2001

Barry Bonds


Q. What would it be like for you to have a ring? What do you dream about?
BARRY BONDS: I'll let you know after it happens.

Q. You've said all year that 500 was your favorite home run. Is that still true after last night?
BARRY BONDS: Yeah, definitely.

Q. After not quite 24 hours, have you let everything sink in from last night and what are your thoughts?
BARRY BONDS: I really haven't had a chance. I had to put to rest a friend of mine today. Like I said, every time I have a chance to enjoy something, something else comes up. Today we finally put to rest Franklin, and I haven't had much sleep at all. We got in late, as you know , probably a little after 3:00, and I was up this morning early. I only slept about four, five hours.
I haven't really had time. Right now, I'm trying to get all of the energy I can for tonight's game.

Q. Will you be at 100%? How will you switch gears?
BARRY BONDS: No, I'm fine with it. I think, you know this was our final chapter, so I'm really, really fine with it. It was just important that we all got together to put it to bed, and we did that today and we're all fine with that.

Q. Being at 69 trying to hit 70, or 70 trying to hit 71 is there a subtle difference there or is it the same thing?
BARRY BONDS: As long as we are winning, it doesn't matter. You would have seen me a lot more frustrated being walked as often as I was in Houston if I was really concerned about it. Like I said the only time I really, really got mad a little bit, be Robby helped that 8-1 lead, the intentional walk on an 8-1 lead, that was probably the most frustrating time for me.

Q. Given the history of the Giants/Dodger rivalry, what kind of pitching do you expect them to bring to these games?
BARRY BONDS: Go ask them. That's a question I can't answer. We're going to go out there and play. We're going to try and win. We have three games. We just wish that we had a day game instead of a night game, getting in late. There's more things we are concerned about right now than how teams are going to pitch one individual and to believe all of us are getting as much energy and as much strength as we can from a long, late flight, and not allow that to make us sluggish or make any excuses of not trying to have an opportunity to win these three games.

Q. Three years ago, Mark talked a lot about how it's really hard to hit a home run. People doesn't understand that; they expect it every swing, or do you understand that or has it been easier?
BARRY BONDS: You know we don't live on people's expectations. We are not machines. We are human beings and we are not going to be perfect all the time. What people expect, that's their own opinion. We give them our best at whatever given year that year comes or whatever at bat that is; we give them our best. That's their own opinion.

Q. The past month has been a very difficult time for the country but in a small way you have been able to captivate the country for a few days. How do you feel about your role?
BARRY BONDS: Let's say that before, I don't think that my role or any individual person has any effect on this. I think we did it together as a nation. I've stated that over and over again.
It's nice to be on the field, to see people smile at all of us in one area and not feel afraid of being in that area. We came together as a nation on our own. It didn't take baseball, football or any other sport to maybe that happen. It took the tragedy to make that happen.

Q. Do you think your patience and trying to help your team win has helped your team and created some of the warmth of the response last night?
BARRY BONDS: I think that's exactly right. I've always told them, it doesn't matter -- if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. Let's just win. Let's do the little things that we've done all year. Let's put it together and let's win.
I'm not -- none of us are on the bench worrying about, well, are they going to pitch to -- or are they going to do this. We're all clapping for each other to get on base, score the next run and let's keep putting pressure on the other team.
I don't think it really comes up at any point in time. I think if you get intentionally walk in a situation like happened in Houston; that was the one time that it just came up where the guys were just saying, "This is just embarrassing to the game." But I don't think any other time. There were close enough runs in there to where they could walk me in those situations.

Q. What do you think of Rickey Henderson's record yesterday and what in general do you think of the significance of the runs' record?
BARRY BONDS: Rickey Henderson is a great all around baseball player. He's proven that over time and years. The man has played 20-something years in the game of baseball; so to look as good as he is, is very impressive.
I think it's a great honor for Rickey. I don't think it's fair for me to actually speak for him. I just would like to congratulate him as a person, as a baseball player, and as somebody that looks up to him. I think all of the questions that you need to ask would be toward Rickey, but I'm very, very happy for him and I'm very, very glad for him and I'm happy to be his friend.

Q. Is there any special meaning to raising your hands after each home run?
BARRY BONDS: Just thanking God for being here, having the opportunity to do what I'm doing. Just thankful.

Q. It seems your focus right now is on winning and for the tea. When will you have a chance to revel in your personal achievements?
BARRY BONDS: When I'm retired and none of you guys can ever see me again. (Laughs).
That's when I'll have time to reflect and enjoy myself.

Q. Dusty had said of Franklin's death --
BARRY BONDS: You are not getting on that case. Don't even try it. (Laughter.) Because I don't even remember half of it.

Q. That after Franklin's death, coming to the games was sort of a release for you. And now you've had the highs and lows in the last couple of days; the same thing as coming to the ballpark and preparing, what is your reaction now and has that been a help, the games?
BARRY BONDS: That's good. That was really good. (Laughs).
I've been through tragedy before in my life. Like I said, I lost my uncle earlier this part of the year and I lost a cousin. My father said, "Sometimes death comes in threes," and I never believed him until it happened with Franklin.
But I have to work. You have to move on. That's what they would want. That's what you have to do. That's real. That's being responsible. And there's nothing you can do about it, anyway.
I think the part that helped me out was just the fact that it took me away from baseball, just to reflect on a very, very important friend of mine, and what we meant to each other; I think that helped a lot, just to get away from the game for a split second. But when I got here, it was business as usual. Just that one day, to be able to say I wanted to do something in my heart and I actually did it was just really, really meaningful. Because I don't think I ever said I want to just do something for somebody right when I wanted to do it and it ever came true. I've whispered things, but I never just said I wanted to do it, but I did it and it came through.
I realized the importance of our friendship and the actual true meaning of our friendship and the love we had for each other, because God blessed us again that day for something to happen for us, and I was really, really happy.

Q. Whether they like it or not, athletes provide inspiration for people. What inspiration would you like people to take from you and what you have done?
BARRY BONDS: People are different, have different thoughts in their minds, observe things differently. Whatever they want to. It's their freedom.

Q. You seem to be back to your measured self today, but last night you seemed to show a little excitement. Was there some excitement last night?
BARRY BONDS: Yeah. We won. There's a lot to be excited now. I've got to prepare my mind for a job we've got to do today. We have to get ourselves ready for today. I enjoy things when it's time to enjoy things; and when it is business, it's business.
Right now, you know, over the time that I've been a San Francisco Giant, the rivalry is starting to get into my blood a little bit and I really get prepared for it.

Q. What do you remember about playing against McGwire?
BARRY BONDS: He hit 33 home runs in the sea that year. A ton of home runs.

Q. Did you face him when he was a pitcher?
BARRY BONDS: He wasn't pitching then.

Q. How much do you look over at that time at the other town's scoreboard these days?
BARRY BONDS: Probably every inning. (Laughs). It's there. It's right in front of you. But probably every inning. You look at it a lot.

Q. Have you made any specific plans to celebrate in case you hit a home run in the next few days?
BARRY BONDS: What's there to celebrate? I'm going to be happy, but I'm not going to have a party or anything like that. I'm going to move on, and hopefully we are in the playoffs. And if we are not, I'm going to give my body a bit of rest. I'm going to go back into the training room and try to give myself another chance to go to the playoffs.

Q. Do you have a reaction or message to all of the water regalia out in McCovey's Cove this weekend?
BARRY BONDS: No, but I tell you on Sunday I thought that was like the prettiest thing I've ever seen in the water. (Laughs).
That water is so cold, I didn't think anyone could even go swimming out there but -- don't drown yourselves, man. It's just not worth it. (Laughs).

Q. Growing up here, did you have any distaste for the Dodgers like a lot of people in the Bay Area?
BARRY BONDS: No, I'm not -- I don't have parents that try to brainwash me into their favorite teams or anything like that, so I'm very lucky. I enjoy baseball as a whole. I wanted to play baseball like my dad and hang out with my Godfather and just go to the park. I didn't really care about what teams or who. It was just fun to be out on the field as a kid and enjoying myself.

Q. What did it mean for you to have your son waiting for you at home plate last night?
BARRY BONDS: Oh, everything. He hasn't had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with me this year, and that was special. I had my whole family there. It was special. I'm just glad I didn't waste their trip.

Q. Did you hear from Mark McGwire at all?
BARRY BONDS: We got in at 3:00 in the morning. I haven't had time to even -- I come in, I'm here, you know. No, I haven't even had time to even go through my entire locker at all.

Q. We always talk about your dad. What have you drawn from your mother and how nice is it to have her around for these events?
BARRY BONDS: Because I'm not as ugly as my dad. I'm better looking than my father. (Laughter.)
He's all right. But I'm a lot better looking. That's what I've drawn from my mother, looks.

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