Though the Mets/Yanks local derby is commanding plenty of attention this evening, the Eastern League’s Connecticut Defenders probably took considerable satisfaction in ending the New Britain Rock Cats’ 6 game winning streak with today’s 13-1 victory. Particularly in light of the ongoing feud between the two clubs, as chronicled by Dave at Sidearm Delivery (pt. I, pt. II).

Today’s game featured an appearance by Birdzerk!

Minor league baseball fans of New Britain have my most sincere condolences.

According to the San Jose Mercury News’ Dylan Hernandez, there is another place on Earth besides the Bay Area where the Sultan Of Surly (homeless today in the Giants’ 6-0 victory over the A’s, a complete game, one-hitter for Matt Cain) is still highly respected.

Nikkon Sports correspondent Satoko Sano said Bonds is “a hero” in Japan. There, she said, he is without a doubt the most popular non-Japanese player in the major leagues, which has grown its overseas audience since Hideo Nomo came to the United States in 1995.

But what about Bonds’ alleged steroid use?

“Japanese people haven’t thought enough about it to have an opinion,” Shiraishi said during an interview conducted in Japanese.

His personality?

“He’s always smiling,” Shiraishi said. “There’s absolutely no perception of him being arrogant. He’s seen as a very friendly star.”

Booing is non-existent in Japan, the reporters said, and so is media access to the clubhouse.

“I don’t think he’s that bad,” Yomiuri reporter Yuich Usuda said of Bonds and his dealings with the press. “He’s talking, at least. There are Japanese players who don’t talk that much or don’t talk at all. I think Ichiro could be more of a hassle to deal with.”