After tying Babe Ruth for second place on Major League Baseball’s career list for home runs, Barry Bonds said all the right things.

“This is a great accomplishment because of Babe Ruth ... what he meant to baseball,” Bonds said, after homering off Oakland’s Brad Halsey in a 4-2 Giants’ win on Saturday. “He changed the game. It’s great to be in the same class. Getting there is harder than getting past there.”

Of course the problem for Bonds is how he “got there.”

Dogged by allegations of steroid use, the 41-year-old slugger does not appear to be the man enjoying the twilight of a Hall of Fame career. Never one of the game’s best ambassadors and plagued by injuries which have lessened his skills, Bonds draws little public support, despite his undeniable skills.

At a time when he should be celebrated for his talent and persistence, Bonds is instead derided by many fans, who see his possible eclipsing of Henry Aaron’s career home run record as an affront to the game.

Bonds may or may not best Aaron’s mark of 755 homers. But it is clear that if he does he will never receive the respect and admiration the feat should have brought him.

Baseball does not need to put an asterisk by Bonds’ name in the record books. The asterisk is already there.

The Daily Citizen

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