Like it or not, Barry Bonds is nearly there | SierraSun.com

Like it or not, Barry Bonds is nearly there

Alex Close
Sierra Sun

As Major League Baseball winds into full swing, Barry Bonds is 22 home runs away of taking over the all-time record.

Bonds’ success at the plate is a mixed bag with media, fans and pretty much anyone who pays even a little bit of attention.

After contributing to the tarnished reputation of baseball as a drug-fueled battle between monsters, Bonds continues to chase the record.

It was 1976 when Hank Aaron hit his 755th and last home run off Dick Drago of California. For 20 years that record has held, and now Bonds is in a legitimate position to surpass it.

Sitting at 734 career homers, the tumultuous slugger has belted many more than 22 balls out of the park in one season before.

Of course, there are a few things that could stop Bonds ” his knee, his ripe old age of 42 (soon to be 43), a grand jury perjury charge, another substance violation.

But, being that close to the record, one would think he would walk the straight path and take care of himself until he passes Aaron.

While the debate as to the validity of Bonds’ power numbers rages, none of it really matters.

Sure, batters aren’t the same as they were back when Aaron was working on his record. They weren’t muscle bound monsters, needles stuck in their rears and veins popping out of their necks.

But neither were the pitchers.

The game has changed. It has evolved ” or de-evolved ” but either way, records were made to be broken, and everything changes at some point.

And in the end, Bonds might come slithering in with needles dropping behind him and take over the biggest record in baseball, but he still can’t stack up to a player like Aaron.

The old-school superstar not only holds the homer record but also the major league record for RBIs, total bases and most games played, among others.

Aaron played in 24 All-Star games, won three gold gloves and has been in the Hall of Fame since 1982.

Take the homer record and retire, Bonds. You still can’t compare.

Alex Close is the assistant editor of the Tahoe World and a sportswriter for the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at aclose@tahoe-world.com.