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Will Bonds break it here?

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  January 25, 2007 12:23 PM

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With MLB releasing its master schedule today, I got to thinking about Barry Bonds, who is scheduled to make his first-ever playing appearance in Fenway Park this season. That's assuming he re-signs with the Giants, which is hardly a given considering the recent revelations about Bonds reportedly failing an amphetamines test, and the Giants' resistance to some of the perks they previously had given Bonds without blinking.

If he does play for the Giants, he is scheduled to visit Fenway Park June 14-16, when San Francisco makes its first-ever appearance in Boston since the interleague era began. The Sox played in San Francisco in 2004, and lost two out of three to the Giants, including Jason Schmidt's one-hitter in the series finale.

Bonds enters the season with 734 career home runs. He needs 21 to tie Henry Aaron's all-time record, 22 to break it. He's old (43 on July 24) and playing on bad knees; he hit just 26 home runs last season, and five the year before when he missed almost the entire season because of knee surgery.

So the chances of Bonds reaching Aaron's mark in Fenway are remote, barring a full return to health. Even healthy, there have been only three times in his career that Bonds has hit 22 or more home runs by June 16 -- in 2000, when he hit 26 in 56 games en route to 49 for the season; in '01, when he had 36 home runs in 63 games en route to his record-setting 73; and in '02, when he hit 22 in 63 games and finished with 46. His last four seasons, he has gone 19, 18, 0 and 10 by that date.

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