As much as it pains me to admit it, Barry Bonds is likely to pass Hank Aaron in the next two to three weeks. It could possibly even happen before the All Star Break if he gets on a tear. As of now, he needs only seven more to tie it, eight to break it. Really, I find it hard to imagine how a fan of baseball or of sport can really cheer on this accomplishment. No matter what happens, it will always be tainted. Even if you willingly and stubbornly choose not to believe that Bonds is a juicer, it will still be tarnished by what a jerk Bonds has been to the game and the fans.
In order for this “accomplishment” to be honestly denoted and recorded for history to view, there’s something that should and possibly could happen. Bonds hits the home run in a visiting park. There’s a number of reasons that this should happen, but the most notable of which is TV coverage. Take a look at the clip from Hank Aaron’s record breaker.
You’ll notice first and foremost that it occured in Atlanta. Where most of everyone loved Aaron. Apparently at least enough to run out on the field and shake his hand before he even reached home plate. Everyone’s happy it happened. Had it happened elsewhere, say Yankee Stadium, you’d probably see a bunch of Bronx fans not pleased at all that the Ruth record was gone. Now fast forward to today. Outside of San Francisco, nine out of ten baseball fans that you meet will have an utter disdain for Bonds. Take a listen to this clip from Fenway just a few days ago.
I’d say no one is happy to even see him come to the plate. Granted, this is at Fenway where fans haven’t had the chance to boo the guy. But imagine if he were hitting 755 in Atlanta of all places. The guy would need a few police escorts to jog the bases. Such a negative reception would certainly be a clear indicator of the perception of the fans and how this event fits into history. And here’s the thing. This needs to happen. When audiences years from now see this soon to be archived footage, that clear indicator needs to be present. Even if the baseball gods choose not to place the * symbol in the books, such a reaction would exist as a metaphorical one. And would be exactly fitting.
Looking at the upcoming schedule for the Giants, there’s an actual possiblility that it could indeed happen. Should Bonds get hot, it could happen in either Cincinatti or St. Louis. Later on after the Break, either Chicago or Milwalkee. Those probably stand the best chances. However, interestingly enough, the Giants visit Atlanta in the middle of August. Should he slow down and face problems it is quite possible that scenario in Atlanta could happen. And indeed it should.