By Matt Furtado/KHTK Sports 1140
Does anyone remember when San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds was chasing down Willie Mays on the all time home run list?
It wasn’t too long ago, just 11 years.
In 2004, every Giants commercial, billboard, in-stadium video and interview was about Bonds trying to catch his God Father.
The Giants marketed the milestone as if Bonds was the biggest and best thing to ever happen to the organization.
A casual sports fan, heck, even someone who hated sports would know Bonds was chasing down Mays because it was marketed everywhere.
For non-Giants fans it grew tiresome, and for non-Bonds fans (which there was and will always be plenty out there) it was like nails on a chalk board to hear about the chase over and over.
Bonds, of course, broke Mays’ record, as well as every other home run record and finished his career as the *home run king* with 762.
So why is this relevant? Why is there a need to talk about Bonds chasing down Mays 11 years after the fact?
Alex Rodriguez is currently chasing down Mays’ 660 home runs. He is sitting just one home run shy of the milestone.
A casual sports fan wouldn’t know that though.
The New York Yankees claim that the slugger catching and eventually surpassing Mays is not marketable.
The Yankees refuse to pay Rodriguez the $6 million both sides agreed to if and when he reached certain milestones, such as matching Mays’ home run total.
The $6 million would have come from the revenue the Yankees would have earned from marketing Rodriquez’s milestones, but because the Yankees believe it isn’t marketable anymore, that revenue is nonexistent.
That is a joke. Not just because the Yankees are trying to break a contract, but how could they possibly claim something like that isn’t marketable?
Let’s look at the facts and compare it to what the Giants did with Bonds:
Exhibit A: Steroids
Neither Rodriguez nor Bonds failed a drug test, but different evidence shows that both players took steroids. You know it, I know it, the league knows it.
The only difference is that Bonds was never suspended for his steroid use. Rodriquez was suspended for a full season in 2014.
Exhibit B: Hatred
Not too many people outside of San Francisco will say they are fans of Bonds.
Not too many people in general will say they are fans of Rodriguez.
Whether it was the lying about steroids, or just the arrogance and disrespect these two players carry, Bonds and Rodriquez are two of the most hated individuals in baseball.
So how can it be possible for one team to market the heck out of the milestone, and another team to claim it isn’t marketable?
Of course it is, the Giants showed how marketable it can be just 11 years ago.
The funny part of this whole thing is that it seems as if many people are rooting for Rodriquez just to see what happens with the $6 million the Yankees would owe to him.
In a way, the Yankees choosing not to market the slugger’s milestone has actually brought more attention than they probably wanted.
Rodriguez currently has five home runs on the season.
Although the Yankees don’t want anything to do with Rodriguez climbing up the home run ranks, they will gladly take his production.
New York currently sits in first place in the AL East at 12-8, in large part due to Rodriguez success early in the season.
Whether the Yankees want to believe it or not, Rodriguez passing Mays is a big deal. The more they deny it, the more money they will lose.
They are losing money from not marketing the milestone, and they will lose that $6 million to Rodriguez one way, or another.
But as we have seen in the past, money clearly isn’t an issue for the Bronx Bombers.