by Allan Doherty

Controversial slugger, Barry Bonds has agreed to an $16M one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants. This agreement should silence conspiracy theorists that were compiling a case asserting that Major League Baseball was attempting to prevent Barry from playing in 2007. Get back in the cage!

With this agreement, baseball fans have to begin facing the fact that Bonds will become the All Time Career Home Run Leader. Let’s face it, unless he becomes more seriously injured, is walked for the season, is indicted on charges associated with BALCO or is indicted on tax evasion, Barry Bonds will break Hank Aaron’s record of 755 career home runs. It’s time to start the office pool and pick the Giants’ game that you think the greatest home run in baseball history will be hit.

Now, think about that.
Will number 756 be a home run to celebrate?
Will it be considered the greatest home run in history?
Will it be the most controversial?
Will it be both?
When will the talking heads begin the Good Barry, Bad Barry debate?
What kind of news coverage will surround Bonds after he hits 754?
Will ESPN break into their programs to follow every pitch that is thrown to him?
Will pitchers throw strikes or will Barry walk for the months of June and July?
Will the pressure finally be too much for a man who has performed incredibly under circumstances that would paralyze most of us?

When Barry smacks 755, will you cheer?
Will you sigh?
Will you cry?
Will you gauge your respond by those around you?
Will you just take in a deep breath and absorb the event?
Will there be a ceremony?
Will you be able to tolerate the news coverage?
How many pages of print will be spent on 755?
How many times will the video of the record tying swing be replayed?
How long will you have to wait for 756?
How much more press coverage will there be?
How many press passes will be available for each game?
How many satellite trucks can fit in a city?
Will it be the lead story on planet Earth?
Will somebody decide to broadcast the event into space?

Imagine this for a moment.
You have a first base line seat.
Bonds has his back to you.
He’s in the box anticipating the pitch.
He swings and turns on an inside fastball that towers to right field.
He drops the bat to the right of the first base line.
His first step squares him with the outfield.
He has a perfect view of the flight.
His chin drops slightly exposing his top row of teeth.
He squints to focus the sight for eternity.
You turn your attention to the right field stands.
You see the fans on their feet.
Their mouths are open, eyes are bursting and hands are reaching for the sky.
You know it’s historic.
This event is a lifetime achievement.
What will your reaction be?
Are you with the crowd who supports Barry in his record pursuit?
If so, do you pay any attention to those who may be razzing the new Home Run King?
Are you an individual who believes he is a cheater and should not be recognized for the achievement?
Will you boo the Bay Area Slugger?
Will you get caught up in the crowd’s exuberance and cheer for the sake of enjoyment?
If everybody else is cheering and you are booing, will you feel intimidated?
Will it be an awkward moment?

Now, take the position of Bud Selig.
Talk about an awkward moment.
Will anything he does or say during the record-breaking event be sincere?
He loves the game and wants to preserve its integrity, but will his thoughts, actions and words be truthful?
Will Selig’s performance be part of the marketing plan designed to generate revenue regardless of what is left in the wake?
Why would he change course at this point?

How long will the focus of media coverage remain on Bonds?
Will anybody remember that there are other games being played by other players?
Will he experience more catcalls and boos playing as the All Time Home Run King?
Will he decide to hang-up his cleats during the season?
Will he just play at home?
When will the dust finally settle?

It’s a lot to consider if you are a baseball fan. But don’t worry; the answers to all these questions will unfold in front of you. The first thing you have to do is get a Giants’ schedule in hopes of winning that office pool. Because regardless of what your view will be of Bonds’ achievement, the office pool victory will make 756, a home run to celebrate.

Allan Doherty maintains

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