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 Excerpts of The Associated Press telephone interview with Hank Aaron:
Q: I wanted to ask you about the Barry Bonds situation, if I may. He's 10 home runs away, as you obviously know. Are you following the statistics?
A: No, I have not really made any comments about that and I prefer not to really. I'd rather not get into any kind of discussion about that. I have tried to keep myself looking and thinking in another direction.
Q: Let me ask you, in general, how closely do you follow baseball?
A: Very closely.
Q: Do you read stories all the time, read the paper?
A: Oh, I don't read stories. I do follow statistics like who got how many hits, who did what, but I don't read the story, the in-depth story. For example somebody told me the other day Michael Vick was in trouble with raising dogs. I said, 'Raising dogs?' I didn't know what the story was. I follow as much as I can.
Q: How are you spending your time?
A: I do what I want to do. I try to spend a lot of time in Florida, my wife and I, so I don't know if I have any set thing. I don't play golf every day. I don't go to an office every day. Sometimes I might decide to stay at home. Sometimes I may decide to go. I have no set patterns.
Q: Do you have a lot of pain from your sport days?
A: I was very fortunate. I didn't have a lot of injuries. I did crack my ankle one year, broke and cracked it. Other than that I didn't have any real setbacks.
Q: Do you ever talk to Willie Mays?
A: I have not seen Willie, I bet you, in three or four years. It might be even longer than that. I think the last time I saw Willie was, might have been at the All-Star game, might have at the induction ceremony in Cooperstown.
Q: So what are you doing, checking box scores everyday, all the statistics, through newspapers or the computer?
A: Both. I watch the Braves play and I can get all the statistics that you want.
Q: In fact, I was just going to ask you, how closely do you follow the games?
A: Oh, I watch the Braves play every day.
Q: How many games do you go to a year?
A: I don't go to too many. I don't attend too many, but I watch on television every day.
Q: Do you have any advice for Barry Bonds?
A: For who?
Q: Barry Bonds, because he went through so much, as you did.
A: I don't have any ... As I said before, I don't have any advice whatsoever, no advice to anybody.
Q: Have you spoken with him?
A: No. I have not talked to anybody, really.
Q: What will you be doing when he's on the brink of tying or breaking your record?
A: I have no idea, probably playing golf somewhere.
Q: Would you reconsider your decision to stay away?
A: I will never reconsider my decision.
Q: That's pretty strong. Why is that?
A: Nothing. Just that it's the way I am. ... I traveled for 23 years and I just get tired of traveling. I'm not going to fly to go see somebody hit a home run, no matter whether it is Barry or Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig or whoever it may be. I'm not going anyplace. I wish him all the luck in the world.
Q: Well, if it happened in Atlanta would you go?
A: No, I won't be there.
Q: Really?
A: No.
Q: If he breaks your mark do you think it's an accomplishment on par with what you did?
A: I don't know, and as I said before, I don't want to discuss him, really. Really, I don't mean to discuss anything about it ... I've stayed out of this.
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