What’s not to like?
He’s been voted to be a starter in the NL All-Star game in his hometown at AT&T Park, endorsed by no less than two of baseball’s most respected greats: Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn.
He broke the 750 career home run mark, his 16th of the season, in a home game on Friday night, June 29 against the Arizona Diamondbacks pitched by Livan Hernandez, although the Giants lost the game. . .
Monday night he hit his 377th double, beating Willie Mays’ Giants’ club record.
He has a .299 career average.
His On Base Percentage is .498.
He has a total of 75 walks this season, more walks than anyone in baseball.
He has 40 Runs Batted In.
He’s on base 1 out of 2 times he comes to bat.
And he has just four more home runs to tie Aaron’s record, five to break it.
On the downside, it is still reported by many writers that Bonds does not have the confidence or respect of a majority of fans. An ESPN-ABC News poll reports black baseball fans are twice as likely to root for Bonds to break Aaron’s record and white fans are more than twice as likely as black fans to believe that he knowingly used steroids. A quick search on the Internet features other polls reporting as many as 76% of black fans supportive of Bonds, while only about 26% of white fans supported him. Interestingly, though faint in the memory of fans, Hank Aaron also faced controversy in his career that appeared to be race-inspired. You may wish to check out Tom Stanton’s “Hank Aaron and the Home Run that Changed America” for an intelligent discussion of the issue.
The steroids brouhaha? Joseph Giambi has broken the silence barrier. It begs the question: Is it intentional that there has been no resolution of the possibility of Bonds’ knowledge and involvement, giving him time and opportunity to break Aaron’s record first?