At 754, Bonds' record chase is 'sinking in'
SAN FRANCISCO -- For at least one more day, Hank Aaron can awake in the royal bed, instruct his footman to empty the chamber pot, demand the food taster check out his giant drumsticks, don his ruby- and diamond-encrusted crown and then order a queen's beheading or declare war on Red Sox Nation -- or whatever it is baseball's Home Run King is empowered to do.Because when Barry Bonds hits another home run, the throne is going to be a little crowded. Bonds hit his 754th career homer Friday night, leaving him just one away from Aaron's record and co-ownership of the all-time crown. Cue the kayaks in McCovey Cove. "It's sinking in," Bonds said of the upcoming milestone, later adding, "I don't feel any pressure to do something I've done my whole life. It just feels different. For all my other milestones, they happened when we were in a pennant chase or a drive. The atmosphere just feels different because we're so far out." Bonds had not hit a home run in San Francisco since June 29 but did so in his first at-bat Friday against the Marlins. Facing Dutch rookie Rick Vanden Hurk, Bonds slammed a 2-1 pitch for a long drive that drew two rounds of applause from fans. They cheered with expectation when the ball left the bat and again a few moments later when it landed in the center-field bleachers near the "404" sign. Bonds pumped his fist as he watched the ball leave the yard. With a chance to tie the record, Bonds walked his next four plate appearances, two of them against Vanden Hurk. "The only thing that was different was he started trying to throw his arm out of his socket," Bonds said. "His velocity went to the other extreme. ... He seemed to dial it up each time after that."
The whole thing has been frustrating for everyone. This is an extraordinary amount of pressure on him. You can go back to Roger Maris or Mark McGwire or anyone else who has ever approached a home run record -- Barry with his 73 home run year. It's hard to hit a home run as it is, but when everyone is coming to the ballpark to see you hit one, it's all the harder.
-- Giants owner Peter Magowan
BARRY BONDS: THE NEXT HOME RUN KING
ESPN.com's complete coverage of Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. For more, go to our Chasing Aaron page
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• Jerry Crasnick: Ready to make the call
• Jayson Stark: Kuiper's the anti-Bonds
• Jim Caple: Bonds feeling no pressure
• Tim Kurkjian: Victims of landmark home runs
• Jayson Stark: Selig doing the right thing
• Jayson Stark: The "Bonds Tour" comes home
• Jayson Stark: Selig's non-statement about Bonds
• Milestone Meter: From 756 to 300 to 3,000
• ESPN.com: The Best On Bonds
• Slideshow: Reliving Hank Aaron's No. 715
• Bonds' Town Hall: Did Bonds use steroids?
• Bonds' Town Hall: Did anyone know?
• Bonds' Town Hall: Media witch hunt
• Brokaw: The Long Winter of Henry Aaron
• Beyond 756: Chat with Amy Nelson