I’m gonna do something different and take the high road when it comes to Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time 755 homeruns. Having made my peace that it’s going to happen within the next few days, when that moment finally comes I’m going to shut the hell up, acknowledge it for the lifetime achievement it is and move on. Juiced or not, you don’t get to that pinnacle without talent and staying power.
Make no mistake, I am soooooooo glad he went homerless when he and the Giants were in town last week, but not simply out of Dodger pride. For damn sure I was downright surly in not wanting our rival’s ‘roid riddled rudeboy to send anything sailing out of my park and into the record books, and I’m glad he left still one shy of tying the record not just because of a “not in our house” mindset, but of because of how ugly the L.A. faithful in the house that night would’ve reacted. It would’ve been nasty — like Philadelphia Eagles fans nasty — and all the booing and trash talk and garbage thrown onto the field and middle fingers and insults and fist fights and ejections and arrests would have been captured on camera and played and replayed around the world and forever more that’s how we would’ve been seen.
So it was a huge relief on two fronts when the Giants’ marquee player went away empty. Reeeeeejected!Â But all the Dodgers did was postpone the inevitable. When the Bonds hit No. 755 in San Diego a day or two later and joined Aaron at the top of the mountain, I shrugged. I think most everyone did. Just turned the page. And aside from the fanfare that’ll splash across the media when he hits his next one I’ll turn that page, too.
Thankfully the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez makes that pretty easy to do. Just this weekend at 32 he became the youngest player in the history of the game to reach the 500-homerun milestone. If he continues to average an annual homerun total in the upper 30s as he has in his first 13 seasons, we could see him catching Barry’s number seven or eight year down the road.Â Even if his output ridiculously drops to somewhere around 25 more four-baggers a season, when he reaches Bonds’ age of 43 he’ll have 775, which will probably be in the neighborhood of where Bonds’ll be when he retires.