Steroids or no, Hank thinks highly of Bonds

NEW YORK -- Hank Aaron's admiration for Barry Bonds won't be
tarnished if it's proven that the San Francisco Giants slugger used
steroids, baseball's all-time home run king told the New York Post in a story for Wednesday's editions.

Aaron said he would "let the public judge for themselves," whether Bonds' records should be tainted.

"I'm just hoping and praying nothing comes up," Aaron told the
newspaper. "I admire Barry Bonds. Steroids or no steroids, he
would have had a Hall of Fame career."

Aaron, who set the major league record with his 715th home run 30
years ago Thursday, will be honored at the Braves' game that night.

Bonds is fourth on the career list with 659 home runs, one
behind Willie Mays. After Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record, he went
on to finish with 755 career homers.

"Barry Bonds has done everything -- hit home runs, steal bases,
hit for average. He's practically carried his ballclub on his
back," Aaron said.

If Aaron had to pick his favorite modern player, though, Bonds wouldn't be it.

"If you put all of today's best players in a room, my first
choice would be Alex Rodriguez," Aaron told the newspaper. "He
carries a little more weight in the locker room because everybody
likes him, but Barry Bonds has been everything you want in a ballplayer."