Tonight Barry Bonds comes to Milwaukee two home runs shy of the Babe. Here's a little excerpt from ESPN.com: "Bonds said he hadn't thought about the possibility of tying or passing Ruth in the city where Aaron once ruled." Think about the journalist asking this question:
AP journalist: "Have you thought about passing Babe Ruth in the city where Hank Aaron, who holds the all-time record, played?"
Bonds' first thought: "At least the word 'steroids' wasn't there."
This is quite a reach by journalists to find some kind of "isn't that a weird coincidence" story beyond the story that a juiced up jerk who basically wears a stormtrooper's outfit at the plate will inevitabely pass up a fat drunk whose natural ability to hit the long ball will never be matched. If Bonds doesn't do it in Milwaukee, and goes home to play Houston, they'll be talking about Carlos Beltran's playoff home run breakout. Either that or they'll go with "Isn't it weird that this was done in a make-up game? If the game hadn't been rained out, Bonds' home run in Milwaukee would have tied the record...did we mention that Hank Aaron played there?" And then if it goes into the Chicago series it'll be "interesting" that it might happen against a team that has lived and died by the long-ball for the past decade, and you can bet that Sammy Sosa's name will come up.
The real thing to watch here is after Bonds hits no. 713, how hard he really tries on the road for the next two dingers. He knows that if he ties and passes Ruth in San Francisco, he'll be bowed to and showered with love...much more appealing than being flipped off and showered with syringes. If I were every opposing manager playing the Giants, and keep in mind that I'm a jerk, I would plunk Bonds every time he came up to bat at home (even with the bases loaded) and throw hanging sliders to him when he's on the road. Force him to hit it in front of a hostile crowd so that the true reaction of Baseball Nation can be heard.
Here's to hoping the Brewers are up by 5 in the 9th with Bonds at the plate.