Barry Bonds’ first big league manager, Jim Leyland, has an opinion of the slugger slightly different than that of Tommy Lasorda. From the Detroit News’ Tom Gage (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :
“I hope Barry does it. I’ll try to get hold of him right away. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment. There are only two guys who’ve done it in the history of the game, so it has to be pretty important.
“I understand it’s not the record,” Leyland said, “but he’s going to pass the great Babe Ruth, any way you look at it. Am I going to call him? Yeah. I can’t wait until he does it. I don’t feel anything tainted about it.”
“Nothing — absolutely nothing. In fact, I’m tired of reading about this and that because, and I’m not looking for trouble, but I think they’ve singled Barry out and I think it’s totally unfair.”
“I get sick about what’s going on, to be honest with you. Every time I pick up the paper, someone’s knocking him. That makes me mad. “I just think it’s ridiculous that (Bonds) has been singled out. You don’t hear talk about anybody else. I think they should just be quiet about this because it’s going to open a big can of worms, in my opinion.”
Indeed, we don’t need to uncover anything that might call into question the career marks of Randy Velarde and Ozzie Canseco.