Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bonds Hints He's Given Up Chasing Aaron

San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds, perhaps sensing his playing days are numbered, has already foreshadowed that he will never reach Hank Aaron's 756-game homer mark. Bonds' recent announcement that the only target he really wants is Babe Ruth's 714 sets the stage for his final frontier. Bonds evidently would settle for seven more homers to pass Ruth, and consider any additional longballs a bonus. But even Ruth's mark seems more and more difficult each day. Not only has Bonds reported painful swelling due to bone chips in his elbow, his surgically repaired right knee troubles him so much that he takes every opportunity to rest it. Observers note that he uncharacteristically sits when he waits his turn in batting practice, favors his left leg when looking for someplace to lean and takes elevators or rides rather than climbs stairs or walks. His relatively modest 100-game 2006 game target may turn out to be unrealistic. Batting just .188 so far on the young season, the 41-year-old Bonds continues to take non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory analgesics to quell inflamation, plus mild, prescription narcotics help deal with pain. He has also been taking sleep-inducing sedatives to get through the night. Still, he remains one of the most feared hitters in the game, as his bat speed is still constant, indicating Ruth's mark will be his sooner or later.