Bonds says Rose, McGwire belong in Hall of Fame

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Barry Bonds thinks Mark
McGwire and Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America elected Cal Ripken
Jr. and Tony Gwynn to the Hall last week, but denied McGwire. The
former slugger ranks seventh on the career list with 583 home runs,
but his legacy was tarnished when he stonewalled Congress two years
ago amid accusations of steroid use.

"I'm sure I'm going to break the record this year. But right now I'm just thinking about golf."
-- Barry Bonds on Hank Aaron's HR record.

"I congratulate Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn for their
induction to the Hall of Fame because they were great
ballplayers," Bonds said Wednesday in the Dominican Republic.
"But I also think McGwire and Pete Rose should be in

The 23.5 percent vote McGwire received represented the first
referendum on how history will judge an age when bulked-up players
came under suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball
didn't ban steroids until after the 2002 season.

Hall of Fame voters might face a similar decision on Bonds, who
is under investigation by a federal grand jury as to whether he
perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the BALCO steroid
distribution case that he hadn't knowingly taken any
performance-enhancing drugs.

Rose, meanwhile, was given a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989
for betting on the sport, something he denied for years. The career
hits leader with 4,256, Rose has never appeared on the Hall of Fame
ballot but received four write-in votes this year.

Arriving in the Dominican Republic for the Juan Marichal Golf
Classic, Bonds told reporters he expects to become baseball's
career home run leader this season.

"I'm sure I'm going to break the record this year," said the
San Francisco left fielder, who needs 22 homers to surpass Hank
Aaron's mark of 755. "But right now I'm just thinking about

Bonds declined to discuss ongoing negotiations with the Giants
over his contract, or his reported positive test for amphetamines
last year.

Bonds hit .270 with 26 home runs and 77 RBIs for San Francisco
last season.