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 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Alex Rodriguez laughed.
Barry Bonds had just suggested that if he does indeed break Hank Aaron's home run record, A-Rod will top Bonds' figure before too long.
``I kind of feel shy talking about it because I hit 14 or 15 home runs in April, and they said I was going to hit 140,'' Rodriguez said Monday. ``I think it's kind of ridiculous, but I take that as a compliment.''
Bonds, who turns 43 on July 24, entered the All-Star break with 751 homers, four shy of Hank Aaron's record. Rodriguez, who turns 32 on July 27, leads the majors with 30 home runs this season, raising his total to 494.
Asked whether A-Rod would make his reign short, Bonds quickly replied: ``Oh, definitely.''
``His talent is unbelievable. I don't think people really appreciate his talent. His eye-hand coordination, his actual strength, his actual recognition of the ball, those are things you can't teach,'' Bonds said. ``It's great because I know what he knows and I can see what he sees. I'm just older and can't do it as often. Willie (Mays) told me 'I see what you see, I just can't do it anymore.'''
Rodriguez repeatedly said he will celebrate when Bonds tops Aaron's mark.
``I would get out of my couch to go pay a ticket and go watch him play,'' A-Rod said.
While Bonds is being celebrated with the All-Star game in his home park this year, next year's All-Star game will be at Yankee Stadium. But will A-Rod still be a Yankee?
Rodriguez can opt out of the final three seasons of his record $252 million, 10-year contract and become a free agent after the World Series. He refuses to discuss his intentions but looks forward to being at Yankee Stadium that night.
``It's going to be sentimental for a lot of people,'' he said. ``Hopefully, I'm there.''
For much of the season, Rodriguez has limited his discussion with reporters to postgame comments on what transpired that night. He said refusing to discuss his thoughts was a deliberate plan.
t's taken me three years. It hasn't been easy.''
He's been a staple in the New York tabloids. There was a front-page photo of him with a blonde stripper in a Toronto hotel lobby, and another front-page photo of his wife wearing a shirt with a profanity at a Yankees game.
``I've had situations this year that I probably would have tried to explain myself, trying to be honest,'' he told reporters. ``You just figure out that's not the way to go. The way to go is to play baseball, kind of put this in a box over here, deal with it and move forward. There's no need to explain myself to any of you guys. That's been a big key for me.''
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