Bonds did smack five homers in 42 at bats in a cameo return in September, increasing his career total to 708, seven short of surpassing Ruth as the most prolific lefthanded power hitter ever.
Bonds, 41, vowed to play next season with a slimmer physique to reduce the wear on his body. His first test drive will be as a DH in the World Baseball Classic in March. Given his age and surgical history, the condition of his knees appears to be the only thing keeping the Giants' leftfielder from slugging his 756th homer and overtaking Hank Aaron's alltime record by June 2007.
Major League Baseball will be conflicted about how to celebrate Bonds's eclipsing Ruth. Scores of security agents will patrol the outfield seats to verify possession of the 715 ball. Should it occur on the road, pockets of fans will boo. Whatever ceremony is staged will be muted because of Bonds's connection with BALCO. The occasion will take place without the commissioner of baseball, who will claim no obligation to be on hand for a player securing second place on an alltime list. The top spot will be a different story, forcing Bud Selig to attend, where he will applaud politely.
Send his butt to first. Don't even think about pitching to him. I don't care if no one's on base. Let's not have him beat us in the first inning. I'd rather have him on first with the bases loaded than those guys out there in the water fighting over a ball.
And so it goes with Barry ...