Ugh still can't put a headline up for some reason.
A corollary to Bonds' quest to unseat Aaron as HR king is Aaron's reaction to the whole circus. Aaron has already said that he will not be present when (not if) Bonds breaks the record and Aaron is also conspicuously absent from this week's All-Star festivities. Aaron's behavior is doing more to tarnish his legacy than Bonds will do to it by passing his record. Contrary to his perception, when Bonds belts number 756, Hammerin' Hank doesn't instantly become irrelevant. Did people forget about Ruth's accomplishments after Maris hit 61* or after Aaron surpassed his all-time HR record? No. By taking such a bitter approach towards Bonds, Aaron is giving off the impression that the only thing in his life that matters is the record, and that just makes him look pathetic. Playing dime store psychologist, I believe that Aaron is holding onto to this record with the grip of Man Hands (Seinfeld reference for the unindoctrinated) because he feels slighted by baseball historians and fans who laud Mays, Mantle, Dimaggio, Williams, and even Banks before mentioning Aaron. The record forces Aaron into the discussion, but maybe at the same time the record takes away from his accomplishments. By taking such a rigid stance on Bonds and the record, Aaron shines so much attention on his record that he actually obscures his other career accomplishments. Hank, you weren't Dave Kingman, so stop acting like home runs are the be all and end all.
Aaron was a fantastic ballplayer and has been a great ambassador for the game, but by refusing to give Bonds any credit he looks like a crotchety old man who loves to tell you how great everything was 40 years ago and how everything today is for the birds. Records were made to be broken and you might not like the man breaking it or the suspect way that he did it, but he is going to do it so you can at least acknowledge his existence. Keep this in mind...no one likes angry old men. Why do you think nursing homes were invented?