Barry Bonds Fan Response a Tale of Two Cities

With the new season, Major League Baseball is beginning a sweeping investigation into steroid use, widely expected to focus on San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who's now starring in his own reality show.

The fan reaction to the scandal has diverged. In fact so far, it's been a tale of two cities.

When Bonds took to the field for his home opener this week, he got a standing ovation, proving some hometown fans don't care whether his homers were muscled by drugs.

"If he was doing it and everybody else was doing it, he's still that much better than everybody else," said one.

"It still takes a lot of skill to hit a ball," added another.

But opening day in San Diego was a different story. Bonds was booed, and someone threw a big syringe on the field.

House that Bonds Built

In San Francisco, Bonds was safe at home in more ways than one. If Yankee Stadium is the house that Ruth built, San Francisco's ballpark may well be the house that Bonds built. In five years in their new stadium, the Giants have doubled their attendance, and the main attraction is Bonds.

But off the field, those questions about doping follow him.

"We can react about baseball questions, or we don't have a conversation," Bonds said recently, rebuffing such a question.

Bonds is saving his thoughts and emotions for his weekly reality show, "Bonds on Bonds" on ESPN2, in which he teared up while talking about how he can take the abuse.

"Because there are so many other people that depend on me," he said, wiping his eyes. "And I think I stand up for them too. It's not just me."

Pedro Gomez covers one story for ESPN -- Barry Bonds -- and it's a tough beat. But he sees Bonds buckling down.

"The deeper he's in trouble, the more focused he becomes on the field," Gomez said. "And the better he becomes on the field."

If Bonds hits the all-time home run record, some analysts question whether the league could ever to take it away.

"What happens to the RBI's of the players that were playing?" baseball Hall of Famer and commentator Joe Morgan asked. "What happens to the runs scored? It is more than taking the home runs away."

Like spitballs and corked bats, it would become part of a baseball tradition, something to argue about long after the game.

ABC News' Brian Rooney reported this story for "World News Tonight."

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