Even by Bonds' standards, latest about-face shameful
Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2006 11:50AM; Updated: Tuesday May 23, 2006 8:42PM
Barry Bonds claims he no longer remembers saying, "The one I care about is Babe Ruth and 715. ... Hank Aaron can have those 755 home runs."
Tom Verducci will answer select questions from SI.com users in his Baseball Mailbag.
There will come a day when Barry Bonds leaves baseball, and everything about the game will be the better for it.
In the meantime, the more the man reveals himself, the more we know him to be the absolute fraud for which his name has become synonymous.
Only the latest example of the deceit that is Bonds occurred after he hit home run No. 714 to tie Babe Ruth for No. 2 on the all-time list. The same man who in an interview with reporters before the 2003 All-Star Game gleefully looked forward to wiping Ruth from the record books suddenly -- because it fit the purpose of trying to gain a shred of public respect -- paid homage to Ruth and his legacy. When a reporter reminded Bonds of his 2003 comments, he claimed not to remember and, as TheNew York Times reported, called the words "somebody's fabrication."
The only fabrication is Bonds himself. I was there that day in Chicago, along with as many as 40 other reporters around him at a table in a hotel ballroom, and I was no more than six feet away from him. Bonds spent a great deal of time talking about the importance of the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City -- the same museum he stiffed in 2002 when, according to The Associated Press, "museum officials said they were unable, despite months of trying, to even get an acknowledgment from home run king Barry Bonds, who was voted the Oscar Charleston Award.''
Subsequent talk of Hank Aaron then turned into a question about Aaron's home run record.
Said Bonds, "The one I care about is Babe Ruth and 715.''
Asked why, Bonds replied, "As a left-handed hitter, I wiped him out. That's it. And in the baseball world, Babe Ruth is everything, right? I got his slugging percentage, his on-base percentage, his walks and I'll take his home runs. That's it. Don't talk about him no more. ... I'm the next generation of the Negro leagues. Hank Aaron can have those 755 home runs.''
It is yet another window into the shallow soul of Bonds that he thinks he could disrespect Ruth in front of the national media at a showcase baseball event, have it be widely and repeatedly reported, and then only three years later claim it was a "fabrication." Just like he never knew those were steroids he put into his body. He and his records are truly unbelievable.