By Carol-Ann Rudy
It happened this past Monday night, June 4th, against the Philadelphia Phillies; Barry Bonds was in obvious pain as he limped from first to third base. No wonder. His calves and knees have seen a lot of use this season in 58 games. He reports having shin splints for the first time. He sat out Tuesday and Wednesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks to ice his knees but expects to be in Thursday’s lineup for the finale against the D-Backs.
Bonds started off strong in April, rebounding from the 2005 (5 home runs) and 2006 (26 home runs) seasons. Coach Bruce Bochy was asked after the game Tuesday if he would place Bonds on the injured list for the next fifteen days; he said not at this time. And Bonds? He says, “I won’t go on the Disabled List—ever. I won’t let myself. I will work hard. I will play through it.” He may take advantage more often now of post game treatment to help him get back on track. . .
The predicted date for Bonds to match Hank Aaron’s career home run record is becoming more and more distant. A few weeks ago, based on his fast start to the season, this website predicted he would tie Aaron on June 16. As of today, TicketNetwork’s best prediction is that he will match Aaron’s record on July 24th (coincidentally Bonds’ birthday, in 1964), assuming he won’t be on the injured list, that he plays up to his potential, and no pitcher prevents him from making those home runs.
At this writing, Bonds has had 61 at-bats since May 8th, but only one home run in that time. It remains to be seen if he can give himself a super birthday present—matching Aaron’s record.