|Pujols is Great Home Run Hope||| Print |||Send|
Written by Tony Meale (Contact & Archive) on March 08, 2009
One must wonder how many of Bonds’ bombs should have been fly balls caught at the warning track or doubles slapped into the gap. Yes, steroids and HGH make one wonder such things.
Frankly, whether Bonds used banned substances should no longer be a matter of opinion -- no more than it is for Alex Rodriguez, who, until last month, was the heir apparent to the home run crown and the fans’ best hope for a “clean” king.
With 553 career blasts at the age of 33, Rodriguez has a better than average shot at surpassing Bonds; in fact, if Rodriguez hits 35 homers a year for the next six years, he’ll do just that. But even if he does, he’ll be greeted at the throne with the same reception given Bonds.
Photo by Danny Wild, used with permission.
He enters the season ranked No. 99 on the all-time home run list with 319 career long balls. Pujols, 29, will quickly rise in the ranks, but to eclipse Bonds he’ll need to hit an average of 44.3 home runs a year over the next decade, which is certainly no easy task.
Pujols, unfortunately, is already showing signs of slowing down, however slightly. In his first six years in the league, he hit an average of 42 homers a year; over the last two, he’s averaged 35.
Of course, this entire discussion could be for naught. As far as we know, Pujols is clean. But as good of a man as the humanitarian has been off the field, would any name associated with steroids surprise you at this point?
Assuming Pujols is clean, it will still take a Herculean effort to reach 763. But let’s hope he does it -- and does it the right way.
Will Pujols be the home run champion when he retires? Let us hear your comments below.