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Wednesday, July 16
Updated: July 17, 8:51 PM ET
Ruth museum reps disgusted with comments

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Barry Bonds keeps climbing the home run charts, edging closer to Willie Mays' mark and drawing more and more questions about whether he will break Hank Aaron's record.

Bonds, however, is also taking aim at The Babe.

In the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right?
Barry Bonds

The San Francisco slugger leads the majors with 30 home runs at the All-Star break and has hit 643 in his career, putting him just 17 shy of matching his godfather -- Mays -- for third on the all-time list.

"Willie's number is always the one that I've strived for," Bonds said before Tuesday's All-Star Game.

"And if it does happen, the only number I care about is Babe Ruth's. Because as a left-handed hitter, I wiped him out. That's it. And in the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right? I got his slugging percentage and I'll take his home runs and that's it. Don't talk about him no more."

On Thursday, representatives from the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum expressed disgust with Bonds' comments.

"To suggest that those feats are somehow capable of 'wiping out' Ruth illustrates a complete disregard for the history and tradition of our national game, and its greatest player and star,'' Michael L. Gibbons, executive director of the museum, said in a statement.

Gibbons' statement concluded, ``Can Bonds 'wipe out' Ruth? Not today, not forever.''

Ruth hit 714 home runs, a mark that stood for many years until Aaron came along. Aaron finished with 755, but Bonds said "755 isn't the number that's always caught my eye."

At 38, Bonds' drive to reach Aaron has been slowed a bit by his high walk total. With each year, the daily grind of playing left field might take its toll, too. Bonds has said recently that he would welcome playing for an AL team -- he's specifically mentioned the Angels -- as a full-time DH once his contract with the Giants is up.

"The toughest thing about getting older is playing defense. That is where you get hurt. Guys can hit from a wheelchair," said Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Bonds' former manager. "I always thought someday Barry might be a first baseman or a DH."

The AL beat the NL 7-6 to gain home-field advantange for the World Series.

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