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07/10/07 7:01 PM ET
Selig: No decision on Bonds
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Commissioner Bud Selig said emphatically on Tuesday that he has not made a decision regarding whether he will be in attendance if and when Giants slugger Barry Bonds hits his 756th homer to pass Hank Aaron into first place on Major League Baseball's all-time list.
Bonds, the starter in left field on Tuesday evening for the National League All-Stars at AT&T Park, his own home field, finished the first half at 751, four away from tying the Hammer and five shy of passing him.
"I have made no decision yet, none at all about the Barry Bonds situation," Selig said. "I said I would at the appropriate time. I'll determine what the appropriate time is. That has yet become an immediate thing."
The Commissioner made his remarks to about 100 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America at their All-Star meeting, and reiterated that position later during his annual Internet chat carried live on MLB.TV and the Baseball Channel.
Selig, who is based in his hometown of Milwaukee and has been saying the same thing for months, insisted that he had no new light to shed on the issue.
"There have been no changes in that," Selig said. "So I don't know what else to say."
Bonds' alleged involvement in performance-enhancing drug use, a pending perjury investigation about the matter by a federal attorney, and an ongoing investigation by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell into MLB's steroid era, are all part of the equation.
Bonds, for his part, has been saying it's up to Selig to show up or not, a position he restated on Monday.
"It's terrible the way it's gone down, but it's up to Bud. It's not up to me," Bonds said without any rancor or animosity. "Bud is his own man and I respect him. Whether Bud shows up or doesn't, I'm going to still play baseball that day. I will respect him as a man no matter what decision he makes."
About Aaron's stance that he will not be there, Bonds added: "Hank has a life, too. It could go on for weeks. You expect this man to travel across the entire continent for weeks? It's not fair to him. Hank, if you want to stay home, stay home, brother."
Ironically, Bonds could be near tying or breaking the record when the Giants play at Milwaukee's Miller Park between July 20-22. That's the team's third series after the All-Star break.
In September 2004, when Bonds was one homer away from becoming the third player in history to reach the 700-homer mark, Selig did make an appearance when the Giants played at Miller Park. Last year, as Bonds chased Babe Ruth at 714 for second on the all-time list, Selig announced that because he was chasing a milestone and not a record, Selig wouldn't be in attendance. Thus, when the Giants were in Milwaukee in early May with Bonds sitting at 712, Selig did not attend.
There were mitigating circumstances that week. Selig's primary concern the opening day of that series was announcing the sale of the Washington Nationals to Theodore and Mark Lerner. The next day he traveled to Boston for a pre-arranged speaking engagement.
This season, Selig was not there when the Giants played in Milwaukee for the first time last month.
Selig was peppered by the writers about Bonds for at least the first half of Tuesday's 50-minute question-and-answer session, telling the group at the outset to "proceed [with questions] at your own risk."
Selig said he wasn't sure whether Mitchell had asked Bonds to appear before his committee and added that even if Bonds had complied that act alone wouldn't be a factor in his decision. Selig also said that he would testify before Mitchell's committee if asked.
"And he should [ask]," Selig said, adding that he has had no contact at all with Mitchell about his investigation.
Putting the final punctuation on Bonds, Selig said that he has had little discussion with the Giants or other MLB personnel about his thought process.
"A lot of people in my office or who I'm close to have not discussed it," he said. "Believe me, I just don't want to talk about it. I'm giving you all the same answers that everyone close to me gets."