By Drew Olson Special to Published May 04, 2006 at 5:29 AM

San Francisco leftfielder Barry Bonds has been punishing baseballs during batting practice since his days as a skinny teenager at Arizona State University in the mid-1980s.

Wednesday night, a baseball took its revenge.

Giants rookie Kevin Frandsen was taking his swings during pre-game practice Wednesday night about an hour before the start of an eventual 2-0 victory against the Brewers. Bonds, who was waiting for his turn at bat, took a position close to the batting cage.

Too close, it turned out.

Frandsen fouled a ball into the protective netting and it hit Bonds squarely in the forehead. Bonds, who had been leaning on the cage, wobbled to a crouching position and was quickly told by trainer Stan Conte to lie on his back.

After a few anxious minutes, Bonds was escorted to the visitor’s clubhouse by a pair of trainers, disappeared for about 10 minutes and then returned to complete his hitting session, which featured a long home run into the loge bleachers in right field. Needless to say, nobody on the visitor’s side was more relieved to see Bonds back in the cage than Frandsen, 23, who got his first callup late last week.

"My heart almost stopped," Frandsen said. "I thought I was going to come in and my locker would be cleaned out."

Frandsen was there for the first pitch against Brewers right-hander David Bush and collected a single in four trips. Bonds, who needs three homers to move past Babe Ruth (714) on the all-time list, went hitless in four at-bats, each of which generated an avalanche of boos and chants of "Steroids! Steroids!

In order to prevent potential problems for Bonds, who has operated under a cloud of steroid suspicion for several years, the Brewers positioned extra security personnel near the on-deck circle and near left field. The measures proved unnecessary. Bonds or no Bonds, the Brewers seldom draw big crowds for weeknight games until school lets out in June.

There were no incidents reported Wednesday; not even from Section 112, where Chicago native Bob Chiarito, Jr., planned to pass out yellow t-shirts as part of his protest Web site

"I've gone to games all my life and paid the salaries of guys like Bonds," Chiarito told the Chicago Tribune. "Millions of fans like myself have been fooled. Because, when you look back it’s pretty obvious that guys were on steroids. I didn’t want to just sit back and let that go."

After the game, several Giants players probably felt like waging a protest of their own. They were miffed when the horde of reporters headed directly for Bonds’ locker, passing Jason Schmidt, who had pitched a complete-game shutout.

As the athletes munched on barbecued ribs from the post-game spread, Giants manager Felipe Alou confirmed what many had suspected: Bonds will not be in the starting lineup when the teams complete their two-game set this afternoon.

Bonds, whose march toward Ruth’s historic figure drew reporters from across the country to Milwaukee this week, did not speak to the media after game. Before the game, just minutes before Frandsen’s line drive connected with his skull, he said plenty.

Asked about Ruth, Bonds said: "Babe Ruth is great. Babe Ruth started all of this. He changed the game in his era. Hank Aaron surpassed him. It's Hank Aaron's record and I will always live by it's Hank Aaron's record. But I will always respect Babe Ruth and give him the utmost respect for what he's accomplished."

Asked if he was disappointed by Major League Baseball’s decision not to celebrate his 715th homer, Bonds seemed taken back. In the course of answering the question, the man seen as an ogre at ballparks outside of the Bay Area defended Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and then practically transformed himself into a preacher.

"Why would I be disappointed?" he asked. "What would ever give me a reason to be upset? Why would I be insulted? I have not seen Major League Baseball celebrate too many of any records."That's not fair to Bud (Selig). That's not fair to Major League Baseball when they've really never done it, anyway. That's just a slap in my face, that's all this is with you (reporters). That's not fair to Major league Baseball or Bud. This is slapping me down again.

"But that's OK, though. I respect you (reporters) anyway. I forgive you every day. I forgive all of y'all that write nasty things about me. And I pray for all y'all. I hope nothing ever happens to you. That's the truth. That's from the bottom of my heart. One day you'll believe me."

Selig did not attend the game Wednesday night and won’t be on hand today because he will be making a scheduled appearance in Boston.

Asked if he thought Selig’s absence was a slap in the face, Bonds said: "I don't live here. I don’t know how many events in Milwaukee have there been for Bud to even be here.That’s not fair."

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.