Print and Go Back SportsNation [Print without images]

Friday, February 16, 2007
Updated: March 27, 12:13 PM ET
Will Barry Bonds hit No. 756?


Barry Bonds is 22 home runs away from breaking Hank Aaron's record.

If a different man was chasing Hank Aaron's immortal record, we might call him a hero. Celebrities would clamor for tickets at the potential historic game. Fans would try to pluck his blasts from the air with oversized nets. The media would surround him constantly, but the attention would likely be positive, if a bit suffocating. A different man, approaching Hammerin' Hank, might be adored.

Instead, we have Barry Bonds. His climb up the mountain has been lonely, tainted and reviled. Fans will certainly be paying attention, but it's a toss-up as to how much it will mean to them in the long run.

Is it the constant accusations of steroid abuse, which have involved a cast of shady characters, several books and jail time for some involved? Could it be his legendary surliness? Is it because his status as an outspoken African-American superstar sets off ugly undercurrents of racism?

Whatever the reason, the baseball world will still count down the home runs until Barry Bonds stands atop history. For the man himself, however, the accomplishment might ring hollow.

What They're Saying
Gene Wojciechowski: "MLB commissioner Bud Selig can talk all he wants about this being the 'golden age' of baseball (attendance and revenue reached new highs in 2006), but the sport's credibility is in its numbers. When 'flaxseed'-enhanced, amphetamine-taking players such as Barry Bonds start breaking such sacred numbers as Henry Aaron's career home run record, then the numbers -- and MLB's credibility -- begin to suffer structural damage. You enter the dangerous age of: Did He or Didn't He?"
March 7, 2007
Amnesty isn't perfect, but it sure beats the alternative

Barry Bonds: "There's a lot of times I want to say I'm sorry to some of the fans. You're only strong to a point and then you get nervous. I'm kind of standoffish and stuff and you can't really explain that. ... I'm mostly gun-shy of what can happen. Once this is all over and done, whether I get lucky enough to do it or not, I'll be able to release just a little bit of the anxiety and fear of what can happen. You don't want anything to happen to yourself. You don't want anything to happen to your family."
Feb. 28, 2007
Bonds tells radio station he receives death threats

Jim Caple: "There shouldn't be a cloud over this chase. It should be as clear and blue as the spring-training sky Wednesday.

"But like it or not, there is a cloud. And it's not going away.

"Are you going to root for Barry or root against him this year? You have 21 home runs to make up your mind."
March 15, 2007
The question of the season

The Rundown: Chasing Aaron

Alex Rodriguez has the easiest road to Aaron's record.
Hank Aaron hit his 756th home run at age 42. You can determine when Barry Bonds will break his record by using our Bonds Calculator. When will these other players break his record if they keep up their current home run rate?

Alex Rodriguez, 30
Current total: 464 home runs
Home runs needed: 292
Current average: 43
Would break record in: late 2013

Manny Ramirez, 34
Current total: 438 home runs
Home runs needed: 318
Current average: 39
Would break record in: early 2015

Andruw Jones, 29
Current total: 342 home runs
Home runs needed: 414
Current average: 34
Would break record in: early 2018

Vladimir Guerrero, 30
Current total: 338 home runs
Home runs needed: 418
Current average: 38
Would break record in: last game of 2017

Albert Pujols, 26
Current total: 250 home runs
Home runs needed: 506
Current average: 43
Would break record in: late 2018

Adam Dunn, 26
Current total: 198 home runs
Home runs needed: 558
Current average: 39
Would break record in: early 2021

Miguel Cabrera, 23
Current total: 104 home runs
Home runs needed: 652
Current average: 30
Would break record in: late 2029