It will be the new record for homeruns in a career.
It will not be the record for people cured of anything.
It will not be the record for hungry people fed or homeless people housed.
Nor will it be a record for children injured as a result of the negligence of impaired parents.
When he achieves what he has been in the process of achieving since transforming himself a decade or so ago from an all-around ballplayer into an exceptionally prodigious homerun hitter, Barry Bonds will have set a new standard for number of times a baseball propelled by one guy has left the park.
So take it easy. It will not be a record for number of gallons of gas conserved by an automobile company that has ignored the temptation to keep building profitable but profligate SUV's and gone in the other direction.
But it will not be the record for attempts to secretly assassinate the head of a foreign state or a record for number of illegal wiretaps installed.
Maybe you think Barry Bonds has lied about how he has prepared himself to hit so many homeruns.
Maybe he has.
On the other hand, he hasn't lied about killing or kidnapping or robbing anybody. He hasn't claimed to have secret knowledge about weapons of mass destruction.
None of this is meant to celebrate Barry Bonds, who, according to most accounts, is a bitter, unpleasant man. Nor do I mean to diminish his accomplishment, which is historic within the world of Major League Baseball...one of the realms in which, for better and for worse, we have chosen to seek and make and unmake our heroes.
But when Barry Bonds jogs around the bases after his 756th homerun, he will have hit a baseball out of a Major League ballpark more often than anybody else has done so. Whether you regard him as a champion who has manfully endured the unjust criticism of various self-appointed guardians of the honor of baseball or as a despicable cheater and despoiler of the game that embodies our national integrity, he will have hit more balls a long way than anybody else.
Nothing less...but nothing more.
This program aired on June 28, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.