July 29, 2007

Barry Bonds


From AP: Bonds within 1 of Aaron.

Ham- merin' Hank, he's right behind you now.

Barry Bonds hit his 754th career home run Friday night, and needs just one more to tie Hank Aaron's record.

The Giants star sent a 2-1 pitch from rookie Rick Vanden Hurk over the wall in left-center in the first inning for a solo shot against the Florida Marlins, his 20th homer of the season.

Bud Selig wasn't there to see it, sending MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy in his place. The commissioner was back in Milwaukee, preparing to go to Sunday's Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Bonds did hear from Michael Jordan, though. A taped message from the NBA great played on the video board between innings.

After a brief pause to put specially marked baseballs in play, Bonds drew ball one and ball two - with boos raining down on Vanden Hurk - before a called first strike. Then, the 96 mph fastball was gone - a drive estimated at 420 feet.

From AP: Craig, Rosen say they rate Aaron ahead of Bonds.

Count Roger Craig and Al Rosen among the baseball old-timers who don't believe Barry Bonds will eclipse Hank Aaron, no matter how many more home runs he hits.

"I think Hank Aaron was the better all-around player," Craig, a former Giants manager, said Saturday during a reunion of his 1987 NL West championship team. "He was right up there with Willie Mays."

Rosen, general manager of the 1987 team, said Mays was the only player he saw who was better than Aaron.

"What people don't realize is (Aaron) was also a great baserunner, a terrific outfielder and had a cannon for an arm," Rosen said. "He could do it all."
Craig, who surrendered at least eight homers to Aaron during his 12 years as a pitcher, said Bonds deserved to be considered among the sport's greatest hitter even if his performance was aided by steroids, as some have alleged.

"This guy has some skills and athletic ability you only see once in a lifetime," Craig said. "You are watching some things you may never see again."

To see more of John's caricatures, see his new blog John Cox Art.

UPDATE I: From Sports Illustrated: No luck by the Bay.

UPDATE II -- Aug. 5: From Sports Illustrated: Bonds ties Aaron.

UPDATE III -- Aug. 8: From FOX News: Barry Bonds Hits Record 756th Career Home Run.

Posted by Forkum at July 29, 2007 01:33 PM