A-Rod #500, Barry Bonds #755 August 4, 2007
Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds both reached tainted milestones on August 4, 2007. Rodriguez hit his 500th home run and Barry Bonds got his 755th (tying Hank Aaron).
Bonds 755th – boos, cheers, and more boos
Jeff Blair, writing for the Globe and Mail called it “Barry Bonds’s desultory slog to slugger immortality.” He wrote:
Covering Bonds in San Francisco is one thing; it’s like covering a dictator’s political rally. Think Leni Riefenstahl meets This Week In Baseball.
This week, in the Giants’ three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was less about the fans (who gave it good to Bonds) than about how the game’s power brokers seemed almost embarrassed to get too close to Bonds. Commissioner Bud Selig was in Los Angeles and left. He essentially says his interest will be “day-to-day” after this weekend’s series in San Diego. Frank Robinson represented the commissioner’s office on Thursday, but nobody saw him. Players union chief Donald Fehr showed up on Wednesday and flew under the radar. He was in Los Angeles, he said, on other business.
For A-Rod on the other hand, it was mostly high praise and accolades. At age 32, he was the youngest player to reach the 500 home run plateau. He was viewed as a serious, legitimate contender who could eventually out-bomb Babe Ruth, Hank Aaraon, and even the disgraced Barry Bonds.
The only nay-sayer was Jose Canseco. A week before at a radio interview in Boston, Canseco said, “he has other stuff” on the Yankees slugger, who he called a hypocrite who “was not all he appeared to be.” Canseco who by that time had already admitted to his own juicing, was slammed by most of the baseball world and was accused of slinging mud at “poor little A-Rod”.
Four months later, The Mitchell Report was released (December 13, 2007). It implicated 89 Major Leaguers as having some involvement with the use of performance enhancing drugs including Bonds, Canseco and Roger Clemens. Rodriguez was not named in the Mitchell Report, but now Canseco’s allegations about him began to seem more legitimate.