Baseball writers like A-Rod to best Bonds

Posted: May 29, 2007

The Daily News asked 10 baseball writers how long they thought Barry Bonds would stand as the career home-run king and who might eclipse him, assuming Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record. Here are their responses:

BILL CONLIN, Daily News

Barry Bonds' record will fall some years after the legal Bio-Tech sector and Major League Baseball get together and finally end the stain of illegal steroids sold from underground labs. BALCO will be legalized as BALLCO Inc. Safe and legal steroids and human growth hormones will be developed, tested and approved by the FDA in 2025. MLB will joyously legalize their use.

But the Bonds record will endure until one of 10 million Chinese baseball players will be joined by a remarkable five-tool prodigy named Hee-Twon Long. Long will break the Bonds record as a Los Angeles Dodgers rightfielder around the year 2070. Before his career ends as a New York Yankees designated hitter, Long will raise the record into the 900s.

PAUL HAGEN, Daily News

Sure, there are reasons to believe Alex Rodriguez won't eventually surpass both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the all-time home-run king.

A few years ago, before injuries sidetracked his career, many people thought the record would someday belong to Ken Griffey Jr.

As Colorado manager Clint Hurdle recently told the Rocky Mountain News: "Projections are just that - projections. Not reality."

Still, if you were betting, you'd have to put your money on A-Rod. And the most realistic projection - sorry, Clint - has him setting the record in 8 years.

MARCUS HAYES, Daily News

How long will Bonds' record last?

Let's do the math.

Say Bonds lasts long enough to compile 800 home runs.

Alex Rodriguez finishes this season with only 500, assuming a significant power outage over the next 4 months.

A-Rod then hits 35 home runs a year for the next 8 1/2 seasons. Assuming an injury here or there, make it 10 seasons until he gets to 800.

By then, the poster child for the Steroid Era will be eclipsed forever - because, in that time, A-Rod also will hit more than 73 in one season.

NICK CAFARDO, Boston Globe

The Bonds record will stand probably until the year 2014 when Alex Rodriguez breaks it. Seven years.

If Bonds stays healthy I think he'll play even beyond this year and perhaps flirt with or eclipse 800 homers. Given the amount of money Rodriguez has made, the great unknown with him is how long will he play. He told me in spring training that the home-run record is not that important to him and that he would play as long as he felt comfortable and at the top of his game. Currently, I don't see anyone else on the horizon who would have a chance, even though you're tempted to say Albert Pujols.

PHIL ROGERS, Chicago Tribune

Get used to seeing Barry Bonds' name at the top of the home-run list. I think it is going to be there for a long time, probably the rest of my lifetime, and Bonds', too.

The pile of home runs is just too high for anyone to duplicate, even under the current conditions that benefit power hitters.

Yes, Alex Rodriguez is closing in on 500 at age 31. He could take Bonds down before he turns 40. But the odds are against him - and Albert Pujols and anyone else - remaining an elite power hitter long enough to do what Bonds has done. After all, look at what it has taken for Bonds to get into Henry Aaron's neighborhood.

RICK HUMMEL,

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bonds' record, if there is one, will last no more than 6 years. A-Rod will reach 500 this year at age 32 and then, if he averages 40 for the next 7 years, he will be at 780 at age 39.

BOB ELLIOTT, Toronto Sun

We'll take under 8 years with Alex Rodriguez passing him. He averaged roughly 42 in his last 11 years, so he's less than 300 behind. That's less than 7 years at his current pace and he'll be at 755. So say Bonds gets a few more, eight seasons no problem.

TRACY RINGOLSBY,

Rocky Mountain News

The game has changed so much, that it's ironic to think that with Bonds and A-Rod the career home-run record would be broken twice in a decade when there have been only two players (Ruth, Aaron) to hold the record in the last 86 years. Society, however, is bigger and stronger and more athletic now, and let's not underestimate the impact of the smaller ballparks.

JOHN PERROTTO,

Beaver County Times

I don't think Bonds' home-run record will last long, which I believe is also part of the reason why there is so little excitement about his current chase. It's much like when he beat McGwire's single-season record. Much of the romance of Ruth's record and Maris' record and Aaron's record is that all three stood for more than three decades. Because of everything that's happened in the last decade, the perception is that all home-run records are fleeting, which robs them of the wow factor.

SAM MELLINGER, Kansas City Star

Eight years. Let's say Bonds ends up with 785. Alex Rodriguez has 482 as I type this. Give him 40 a year (conservative, if this season is any indication) and he could have the record by the end of the 2014 season, when he'd be 39. Seems about right, considering he's averaging 44 homers in the nine seasons leading up to this.

If not him, I don't know, maybe when Pujols is 39? Whatever, I don't think it's lasting another 33 years. *

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