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The Daily Closer: Big Fun At Needle Park

Notes on the day in baseball:

Giants Fans Pumped For Barry. Here's something to warm the cockles of your heart: Barry Bonds wants to wear Jackie Robinson's retired No. 42 on April 15th; baseball's observance of the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the sport's color barrier. Hmm. To celebrate his announcement, Bonds clouted his 735th career homer on Wednesday, which turned out to be an empty gesture in a 5-3 win by the Padres. Giants fans cheered madly for their hero. But the organization itself is at least showing a twinge of conscience. According to the Washington Post, the Giants are acting like: "Bonds? Aaron? Home run record? This is the first we've heard of it." (Scoreboard above notwithstanding). Here's Giants Vice President Lary Baer on the subject: "You're not going to see us overdo [the celebration for Bonds], or overwhelm people leading up to it, or even when it happens. We just want to have a proper sense of proportion. We'd be shirking our responsibilities if this was all Barry, all the time." Or, as Mrs. Gotti used to say, what's the point to planning an elaborate birthday party for John when they could be hauling him off to prison any minute? San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez had a two-run homer in the eighth that proved to be the difference. Plus, there was a delicious helping of Trevor Hoffman relief goodness for dessert.

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Mr. Met Puts The Hammer Down. OK, now that this ugliness is behind us, we can all go on with our lives. No, the world did not end with the Mets' 10-0 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday, even though it marked a three-game sweep, causing us to awake this morning with the sum of unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Or it could just be our flu.) We could go on and on here about who struck out who and who hit what over where, but what good would that do? Instead, we'll just say "Hello, Houston," and go from there.

And There Was Much Rejoicing At The Hairy Monk. Mike Lowell, three errors. Didn't matter. Josh Beckett led the Red Sox to a 7-1 victory over Kansas City, striking out five five for Boston's first win. J.D. Drew and Lowell had back-to-back doubles in a three-run first inning and Kevin Youkilis added a two-run homer in the seventh.

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True Blue. Hey, speaking of Jackie Robinson, you probably know the story about how he was traded from the Dodgers to the San Francisco Giants. But rather than end his career with his hated rival, he decided to retire instead. How times have changed. Former Giant Jason Schmidt got his first win for the Dodgers, 5-4 winners over the Brewers. Schmidt signed a three-year, $47 million contract in December. And didn't Orel Hershiser make the rare Dodgers-Giants-Dodgers move in 1998-2000?

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