MLB has no special plans for Bonds passing Ruth

Friday, April 28, 2006

NEW YORK -- Barry Bonds will have to wait until he passes Hank Aaron before baseball throws a party for him.

Major League Baseball is not planning any celebration for Bonds if and when he tops Babe Ruth's mark of 714 home runs, commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday.

"Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record," Selig said. "We don't celebrate anybody the second or third time in."

Bonds has been the subject of steroids speculation for several seasons. The recent book "Game of Shadows" detailed allegations against him, and a federal grand jury is investigating whether he committed perjury when he told another grand jury that he had never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds hit his 711th homer Wednesday. His San Francisco Giants were off Thursday, and open a three-game series tonight at home against Arizona.

Selig does not figure to be in San Francisco -- or in Milwaukee or Philadelphia, where the Giants play next week -- as Bonds nears Ruth.

"We celebrate new records, that's what we do. We're being consistent," Selig said during the Associated Press Sports Editors annual meeting with league commissioners. "There's nothing to read into that."

Ruth is second on the career home run list, trailing Aaron's total of 755. When Aaron broke Ruth's record in 1974, commissioner Bowie Kuhn was not in attendance. Kuhn's absence rankled many, including Aaron.

Bonds has been hobbled by bad knees, and missed most of last season.

"He's had a remarkable career. Whatever happens, happens," Selig said. "We're going to let nature take its course. Commissioners don't sit around and say, 'I hope this guy breaks it or not."'

Selig said he had read "Game of Shadows" but not seen "Bonds on Bonds," the ESPN reality show about the slugger's life.

Selig said the book was among several factors that prompted him to launch a baseball investigation into steroids, headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. There is no timetable for completing the probe.

Baseball's investigation, Selig said, is "not affected at all by the grand jury" looking into whether Bonds committed perjury.

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