Interesting article that I found on myspace by a guy named Jim. He gave me permission to repost this here... his myspace address is below. Thanks, Jim, and interesting article!
IS BONDS THINKING 800?
There is a report that I read today that Barry Bonds has suggested he may play past this year. I personally witnessed him playing this spring against the Angels, a nothing game the Giants won easily, where he took 4 at bats, walked and was 2 for 2, legging out a double. I was told by the season ticket holders that Barry usually bats twice, and disappears in games in the spring like these. Not so this spring. He appears to be tuning up for his run at Hank Aaron’s record, and maybe beyond.
Asked Monday whether he'd like to play next season if he's still healthy, Bonds responded, "sure." Bonds hedged a bit later in the interview, but it's clear he's not quite ready to step away.” Let me get through '07 first," he said. "If I'm healthy, I'd consider coming back." Bonds is healthier than he was last year, and has played in 4 straight games. Manager Bruce Bochy said watching Bonds leaves no doubt that the slugger could play beyond 2007.
"There's no question in my mind he has a lot of baseball left," Bochy said. "He came in here in good shape. He's been running well, he's swinging the bat well. He looks like he's on a mission to play longer."
The biggest on-field question surrounding Bonds this season has been thought to be whether he will hit the 22 home runs he needs to break Hank Aaron's career home run mark of 755. My gut tells me Barry may break the record before the All-Star break. The only reason I can think of that he would want to continue to play is to set a record beyond the reach of any potentially great slugger for years to come…800 home runs would be such a record.
At 40 homers a season, that would still take 20 seasons to tie such a mark. Considering how long Ruth’s record remained unbroken, this would be a great way, in hindsight to preserve Bond’s memory. This may be a great way to sanitize his achievements and propel him into the Hall of Fame, the same Hall of Fame that has been denied to Mark McGuire up to this point. Perhaps the hope is that by setting such an impossible record, one right up there with DiMaggio’s 56 game hit streak, that when fans and sportswriters alike look back on it, the steroid allegations will not be so clearly etched in their minds after the passage of time. All that would remain is that incredible number….800.
When the possibility of hitting 800 homers was brought up, Bonds said to "call Alex" - a reference to the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, who has 464 homers at the age of 31.
"Whatever I end up with, I'll be happy," Bonds said.
Bonds has other goals as well. He said he'd have no problem getting the 70 RBIs he needs this year for 2,000 but might need to alter his strategy if he's going to get the 159 hits he needs to reach 3,000 in 2007.
"Got to get some bunts in then," he said.
No Barry, you’re not fooling anyone. That number 800 is not approachable. That number maybe so stupendous that it washes away all sins. Over a long period of time, maybe those who never saw you play or were so close to the steroid stories will place you in the Hall. 800 HRS, 2000 RBI’S, 3000 plus hits, such gaudy numbers arguably makes you the greatest hitter of all time. Forgiveness may only be a season away.
BIG JIM SAYS:
There are some people that no matter what this man does, or what should later happen in courts (not guilty findings?), those people will always feel that Barry cheated. But baseball is a numbers game, and when numbers suit the sport to save it, the powers to be and the press will overlook cheating. I think this is what Barry hopes for. Ruth’s off the field behavior and the deification of Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa during a home run record hitting season and examples of this. 800 may be a magic number for him. A-Rod would have to hit almost four hundred more and stay healthy to come close. (At age 31, do you seriously believe that he can hit 40 hrs/yr for 10 years?) Does anyone else think that it is a coincidence that Barry can state his name so quickly? Not me. Barry thinks about these things. If he stays healthy and continues to hit at a respectable level, look for him to make a serious run at 800 homers.
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