Originally created 10/26/02

Trophy in town, Bonds hopes to bring it home



ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The sterling silver trophy, created by Tiffany and Co. and standing 2 feet tall, arrived at Edison Field early Friday. A little more polishing, and it'd be all set for presentation.

Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants hope to take it home Saturday night.

The only prize Bonds truly wants is so close that he can touch it: With the Giants leading the Anaheim Angels 3-2, one more win will bring the World Series championship.

"You start setting goals, and that's another goal I thought about today," Giants manager Dusty Baker said.

Momentum now back on its side, San Francisco will try to clinch its first title when Russ Ortiz takes on Kevin Appier, the Rally Monkey and those thumping ThunderStix in Game 6.

The Giants will bring their own good-luck charm - 3 1/2 -year-old bat boy Darren Baker, son of the manager.

They're 8-0 when he's in the dugout. But when he runs off the bench, the adventure really begins.

Darren broke loose Thursday night in a 16-4 romp over the Angels at Pacific Bell Park, heading out to retrieve Kenny Lofton's bat. Trouble was, three Giants were running the bases at the time.

Quick thinking by J.T. Snow, who scooped up Darren by the collar of his black jacket, prevented the wobbly boy from being run over at the plate by David Bell.

"My wife was a little upset last night, not terribly upset," Baker said. "It was a strange situation. It's not going to happen again."

"I'm hoping they don't come up with a Darren Baker rule that prevents kids from being in the dugout," he said.

Baker said he got a call Friday from Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office. "He told me to watch out," Baker said.

Said Alderson: "There is no prohibition, no directive or major league rule which prohibits someone that age serving as a bat boy."

"We don't intend to prohibit it. But, on the other hand, I'm sure even Dusty would agree great care is appropriate for someone of his age under those circumstances. I'm sure that care will exist and had been arranged, and last night was a one-time occurrence," he said.

Bonds was not at the ballpark on a drizzly Friday as the Giants and Angels took a break. Both teams deemed rest more important than a final workout.

"At this stage, everybody's exhausted. Our families are exhausted," said Angels outfielder Tim Salmon, who stopped by for treatment. "A day off is good."

Despite light rain in the late afternoon, the weather was supposed to clear up by Saturday. The chance of a rainout was remote - since opening their Anaheim stadium on April 9, 1966, with an exhibition against San Francisco, the Angels have had only 10 home rainouts, and never once on a Saturday.

Resilient all season, Anaheim realizes one more comeback can happen. In fact, seven teams in the previous 23 seasons have overcome 3-2 deficits to win the World Series. Arizona did it last year against the New York Yankees.

"Yeah, maybe that adds a little bit more to it," Appier said. "Obviously, we think that it's quite possible for us to still be able to pull it off."

Appier faces the daunting task of stopping Bonds and the Giants, who broke loose in Game 5. Jeff Kent homered twice and scored four times and Bonds doubled twice and singled as San Francisco tied for the second-highest run total in a Series game.

The Angels and Giants already have combined for 17 home runs, matching a Series record. Anaheim is batting .328 through five games and San Francisco is at .308.

"I think the hitting in this Series has probably exceeded what I imagined coming in because of the type of pitching staffs that both clubs have," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's baseball. You're going to find stretches like that."

Bonds' three hits made him 6-for-12 with three homers in the Series. He's also drawn 10 walks, six of them intentional - and that's against a team that issued only 24 intentional passes all season, tied for the fewest in the majors.

Appier hasn't exactly had much luck with Bonds, either. Bonds was 4-for-7 with two home runs and two walks lifetime against Appier going into Game 2, then drew two more walks.

Game 2 was a matchup between Ortiz and Appier, and it turned into a slugfest. The Angels wound up with an 11-10 win, with Ortiz lasting just 1 1-3 innings.

"I don't think I pumped myself up too much or anything like that," Ortiz said. "I had a bad game, plain and simple."

Appier was chased after getting only six outs.

"I wasn't as familiar with them as I was with other teams that I had faced during the year," he said. "They confirmed that they're really good."