Bonds firmly in spotlight; will be featured in Town Meeting

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds remains the center of attention both on and off the field despite the fact his San Francisco Giants are tied for the fewest wins in the National League.

Bonds, who turned 43 Tuesday, will be the subject of a SportsCenter Special: "Beyond 756 -- An ESPN Town Meeting," that will take place Wednesday at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. The 90-minute broadcast begins at 6 p.m. ET and will be hosted by Bob Ley.

The show will look at Bonds' legacy and how his march to the record will impact the future of Major League Baseball, as well as examining the role of commissioner Bud Selig, the issue of fairness to a generation of players, what role race has played, and whether Bonds should be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Among those on the panel: former Giants manager and ESPN analyst Dusty Baker, former Bonds teammates Ellis Burks and Kirk Rueter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell, ESPN The Magazine senior writer Buster Olney, National Public Radio senior correspondent Juan Williams and Lance Williams, the San Francisco Chronicle staff writer who co-authored the book "Game of Shadows"

ESPN.com will have a live Webcast of the Town Meeting, along with a real-time chat with baseball reporter Amy Nelson. There will also be SportsNation polling incorporated into the show. Fans who wish to attend can call (415) 225-7575.

It's been a busy week for Bonds. On Monday, he singled to end an 0-for-8 slump, but failed to homer for the third straight game. Earlier, Bonds' former mistress, Kimberly Bell, said she will discuss the couple's relationship in the November issue of Playboy magazine, in which she poses for a nude pictorial.

Tuesday, he had one hit in five at-bats.

Bonds hit a pair of home runs at Wrigley Field last Thursday against the Cubs, but has not homered since and has hit just those two in his last 12 games.

Tickets in the right-field section of AT&T Park were selling for $500 each for Monday's game. There were also two dozen kayakers in McCovey Cove.