Bonds says he'll boycott Hall if record-setting ball has asterisk

NEW YORK -- Barry Bonds would boycott Cooperstown if the
Hall of Fame displays his record-breaking home run ball with an

That includes skipping his potential induction ceremony.

"I won't go. I won't be part of it," Bonds said in an
interview with MSNBC that aired Thursday night. "You can call me,
but I won't be there."

The ball Bonds hit for home run No. 756 this season will be
branded with an asterisk and sent to the Hall. Fashion designer
Marc Ecko bought the ball in an online auction and set up a Web
site for fans to vote on its fate. In late September, he announced
fans voted to send the ball to Cooperstown with an asterisk.

Of course, the asterisk suggests Bonds' record is tainted by
alleged steroid use. The slugger has denied knowingly using
performance-enhancing drugs. Fans brought signs with asterisks to
ballparks this season as he neared Hank Aaron's career home run

Bonds has called Ecko "an idiot."

"I don't think you can put an asterisk in the game of baseball,
and I don't think that the Hall of Fame can accept an asterisk,"
Bonds said. "You cannot give people the freedom, the right to
alter history. You can't do it. There's no such thing as an
asterisk in baseball."

Hall of Fame vice president Jeff Idelson declined to comment
Thursday night.

Hall president Dale Petroskey has said accepting the ball
doesn't mean the museum endorses the viewpoint that Bonds used
illegal substances. He said the museum would be "delighted" to
have the ball.

"It's a historic piece of baseball history," Petroskey said in

So, if the Hall goes through with the asterisk display?

"I will never be in the Hall of Fame. Never," Bonds said.
"Barry Bonds will not be there.

"That's my emotions now. That's how I feel now. When I decide
to retire five years from now, we'll see where they are at that
moment," he added. "We'll see where they are at that time, and
maybe I'll reconsider. But it's their position and where their
position will be will be the determination of what my decision will
be at that time."

Giants general manager Brian Sabean reiterated Thursday that the
team won't bring back Bonds next season. The seven-time NL MVP, who has
spent 15 of his 22 major league seasons in San Francisco, was asked
whether he will retire as a Giant.

"Yeah, it's my house. No matter what that's my house, no one's
going to take that away, no one ever," Bonds answered. "No one's
going to take the love of that city of me away, ever."

Bonds, who has 762 homers, broke Aaron's record with a shot into
the right-center seats off Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik
at San Francisco on Aug. 7.

Matt Murphy, a 21-year-old student and construction supervisor
from New York, emerged from a scuffle holding the ball. He said he
decided to sell it because he couldn't afford to pay the taxes
required to keep it.

Bonds told MSNBC he hoped to reach 764 homers because he was
born in July 1964. He said he's been working out and still is
considering whether to play next season.

"I may hit two home runs so I can go home. I just think that I
have a lot of game left. I think that I can help a team with a
championship," Bonds said. "I'm a hell of a part-time player,

Bonds said he won't talk to George Mitchell's staff looking into
steroids use in baseball while he is under investigation in the
BALCO case. A grand jury has been investigating whether Bonds
committed perjury when he testified he never knowingly took
performance-enhancing drugs.

"I know it ends in January, so a couple more months. But I
haven't been keeping up with it. Not at all," Bonds said. "I have
nothing to hide. I have said that before and I will say it now and
I will look you in the face. I have nothing to hide, nothing. So
look all you want to."