Thursday, July 12, 2007

What to expect at No. 756.

San Fransisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is only five home runs shy of breaking the game's All-Time record set by Hank Aaron 31 years ago. And as that time comes closer, many questions surround baseball about what will happen at that time. Where will commissioner Bud Selig be? Where will Hank Aaron be? What park will Bonds do it in? What will the fan reaction be? How many more will he hit afterwards? Will he retire after the season?

It seems to be a touchy subject as of late, but I figured I would give a little insight into what fans can expect from this upcoming event.

1. Where will Bud Selig be at 756? Thus far, Selig has expressed emotion showing that he will not be at the event. To say that he will stick to his guns and not show up is hard to say. The hard fact that Selig must face is that Bonds has not been technically convicted of taking steroids even though he and the rest of the world knows he did. With that being said, he should show up. Although deep down he doesn't want to. Frankly, I don't blame him.

2. Where will Hank Aaron be? This one is simple: At Home. Earlier this year, Bonds publicly announced that he had been trying to contact Aaron for quite some time and that he deeply admires him. Bonds obviously wanted Aaron's support behind the record. Aaron later sent Bonds a telegram (yes, a telegram) saying he wished him luck however, wanted no part in the event. Aaron not only doesn't want to be in attendance, but he wants nothing to do with Bonds or the milestone itself.

3. What Park will Bonds hit 756? It's tough to say which stadium, but I can tell you it will be in California. Giants play three at home starting Friday, then go on a seven game road trip, followed by an eight game home stand against the Braves and Marlins. If he doesn't hit it against the Marlins, he will have an eight game road trip in California against the Padres and Dodgers to do it.

4. What will the fan reaction be? Depends on where he does it. If Bonds hits it at home it will be a big ovation and a big deal. If he hits it anywhere else he will still get an ovation, but it won't be the same. It will be a more of a mixed ovation. But one thing remains true: He will do it at a sold out stadium.

5. How many more will he hit afterwards? I expect Bonds to reach the 770 mark. So long as Bonds stays healthy the remainder of the season he should duplicate the 17 home runs he hit in the first half, if not more.

6. Will he retire after the season? Yes, absolutely and definitely. If I had to bet my soul on it I would. Bonds wants nothing to do with baseball or the spotlight anymore after he breaks the record. Bonds hates people and the negative attention he keeps getting. He has never been a fan-friendly player and never will be. Once he retires, he will vanish off like Mark McGwire has. I wouldn't even be that surprised if he retired soon after he breaks it.

I hope this helps you expect what will come in the next few weeks. Regardless of the steroids case that surrounds baseball, the record deserves recognition and Bonds should still be honored for it. Asterisk it if you will, but I have a feeling Bonds will not be holding this record for very long.

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