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Not bowing to the king

August 11, 2007

I congratulate Barry Bonds now that he has secured a place in the Asterisk Hall of Fame.

Robert McArthur

Los Angeles

I am a baseball fan. I am a Giants fan. I get chills every time I see Bobby Thomson's home run and I wasn't even born when it happened. But watching Barry Bonds break the record was a joyless experience.

Disregarding the steroid issue for a moment, Bonds is still unworthy of adulation and admiration. There are more important things in life than being able to hit a baseball and when it comes to those things, Barry strikes out every time.

One more thing: Go A-Rod.

Rich Rudy

San Diego

It was fascinating to see how much faux emotion -- from Willie Mays' tentative expression, to Bonds' teammates' halfhearted plate reception, to Hank Aaron's videotaped cue card-inspired message of congratulations -- that a faux record could inspire.

Michael Miyamoto

Mission Viejo

Not since Tom Cruise bounced around the stage on Oprah's show have I seen a more awkward moment than the one when Barry Bonds' teammates tried to congratulate him after breaking the home run record.

Tim Jensen

Redondo Beach

I am 50 years old and have collected newspaper sports sections for every significant record-breaking and championship event since my beloved '69 Mets won the Series.

Two sections are missing from my collection. Those two sections commemorate the single-season home run record and the career home run record.

I suspect my children and grandchildren will be able to easily figure out why Pops felt these two just don't belong with the others.

Mark Robinson

Santa Monica

I really appreciated the honor Bill Shaikin showed Henry Aaron. He was my first sports hero beyond my own Dodgers, and has remained for me the gold standard of baseball greatness.

As a true-blue Dodgers fan, I'd hate Bonds just for being a Giant; as a baseball fan I hate him for being so self-centered and wreaking such havoc on his team. It's not even about the steroids thing.

But as a baseball fan I know that baseball is bigger than any of all that, and when I watched an online replay of the big moment, my heart swelled to hear Aaron's graceful statement, which in its few elegant lines said more than any sermon or Senate hearing or snarky Selig press release about what baseball should be, and through the example of Aaron, Gwynn, Ripken, and many many more, is. Look at the effect it had on Bonds -- he'd never been as graceful and classy as he was in his words to the crowd that night.

Carmen Wisdom

Redlands

I nominate Henry Aaron for the next commissioner of baseball.

John Blair

Bakersfield

Let me make this clear. I am not a fan of Barry Bonds nor do I like the position of defending him. However, Ken Burns' column went too far. There may be a "cloud" or "asterisk" next to Bonds' name, but in all honesty, how can that be? He has never tested positive for steroids and even if he did, it wasn't illegal during that period anyway. Furthermore, if his record is "tainted" -- isn't Aaron's record "tainted"? Didn't Hank have over 3,000 more at-bats than Babe Ruth? Let it go, people.

Geno Apicella

Burbank

How nice of George W. Bush to make a call to the Commander in Cheat.

Bob Ostrove

Oxnard

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