Is Aaron Within Reach?
Barry Bonds passing Babe Ruth opens up the question as to whether Bonds is going to be able to hang on long enough to catch Hank Aaron at all. With his body breaking down and baseball’s new drug testing policies, does Bonds at age 41 have enough gas left in the tank to make it? Does he even want to make it at this point?
Knowing what Aaron went through as he chased Ruth and with the media scrutiny even more intense today and with Bonds being as petulant as he is, does he want to put himself through all that grief? Realistically, with Bonds’s body in it’s current shape, the Giants can expect 15-18 more home runs this season. Being generous and giving him 20 more would leave him with 735. Will he be willing to take an incentive laden contract to join an American League team to pursue the record? Will he be able to get the 21 homers he’ll need? Bonds has always wanted to be paid what he feels he is worth; the fans seem to have zoned out on the pursuit; will an American League team pay him even half of what he’s making now in hopes of filling the ballpark as he chases the record? Which teams would even want to deal with Bonds and his traveling circus?
If the Yankees falter again this year and George Steinbrenner still has the faculties to order his baseball people around, it might be in the Bronx. Would Billy Beane want to deal with Bonds in Oakland? Not for the amount of money Bonds is going to want. How many other teams are there? Boston? Not with Big Papi entrenched in the DH spot. Who else? Anaheim, maybe? Baltimore or Toronto? Maybe. He does have options. The important question is: Does Barry Bonds even want to catch Hank Aaron at all and is he willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make it?