He did it. After all the speculation, all the debate, all the waiting, Barry Bonds has finally broken the all-time homerun record. The most important number in sports, 755, fell late Tuesday night. Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik fired a fastball over the middle on a 3-2 count in the fifth inning, and the pitch turned into history as Bonds slammed it over the centerfield wall. The homerun was the 22nd of the year for Barry, and 756th of his career. Hank Aaron’s record, which some thought would stand forever, has now been surpassed, and it will be again in the not-too-distant future.
What Bonds has done, regardless of how he got there, is truly extraordinary. As Aaron himself said in a pre-taped speech aired after Bonds’ homer, this accomplishment required “skill, longevity, and determination,” all of which Bonds had. People of course will try to disparage his record based on steroid use. He are some facts to counter those arguments: from 1990-1998, Bonds averaged 36 homers per season. If you extend that pace through this season, he would have 738 career homers. Also, he had three 40-homerun seasons before the steroids came into play. He might have broken the record regardless of cheating. Here’s another argument: Bonds wasn’t the only one who cheated, yet he ranks much higher than the others suspected. Steroids did not give Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, etc. the longevity that Bonds has shown. They all fall well short of 756.
And even if you still hate Bonds, think this record is bad for baseball, and think he should be stripped of the record, remember this: Alex Rodriguez will break this record. That’s if he decides to continue playing eight more seasons, and averages about 30 homers per year. If not, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, or maybe a player that hasn’t even come into the league yet will give Bonds a run for his money. Right now, Bonds should be appreciated for his accomplishments, with the questioning left for a later date. He is an amazing player regardless, and will (or at least should) be a Hall of Fame lock. Oh by the way, the Nationals beat the Giants, 8-6.