Baseball's leading home run hitter this season thinks it would be a shame if Barry Bonds were not selected as an All-Star.
"One hundred percent. I think the game needs it," Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez said on Friday when asked if Bonds deserved to be on the National League All-Star team next month in San Francisco.
"I think it would be good for the game," he said. "This is not popular for a lot of people but Barry Bonds is probably the greatest player who has ever put on a uniform. He's awesome."
Rodriguez and Bonds made a rare appearance on the field together in an interleague matchup between the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants. Bonds hit his 749th career home run but the Yankees won the game 7-3 behind four hits and two RBIs from Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said it's exciting to get to play against Bonds. Rodriguez said he's been friends with Bonds since the two were teammates on a Major League Baseball tour of Japan in 1996.
Rodriguez downplayed any talk that he could be the next player most likely to break the career home run record or that he could the season mark of 73 that Bonds set in 2001. Rodriguez came into the series opener with 27 home runs, which puts him on a pace for 62 this season.
He also has 491 career home runs and does not turn 32 until July 27 -- the fastest pace of any player in history. Bonds is now just six homers shy of tying Hank Aaron's mark of 755.
"I'm not worried about that," Rodriguez said. "I'm concerned about winning a game tonight. It's hard to think about individual things when you desperately want to win. The other thing is I got to this point by not thinking about myself and thinking about the team. This is Barry's time, not my time."
Even though this is Bonds' time, his place in the All-Star game to be held in his home park is not certain. He was fourth in the latest vote totals among NL outfielders, about 120,000 votes behind Alfonso Soriano for the final starting spot.
The other players will vote for some of the backups and manager Tony La Russa will select the rest.