CINCINNATI – Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig denied a published report Monday that he had decided not to participate in any on-field celebration held when San Francisco’s Barry Bonds breaks the all-time home run record of Hank Aaron.
The report in USA Today said two people with knowledge of the situation indicated Selig had decided not to take part in any celebration once Bonds breaks the record.
“That’s just wrong,” Selig said when reached at his office Monday afternoon in Milwaukee. “No decisions have been made. I said all along that the Giants would handle any celebration. I don’t know what they’re doing.”
Selig attended all three games between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Giants over the weekend at Miller Park. Bonds did not hit a home run in the first two games and sat out the third, leaving him two behind Aaron’s record of 755.
The Giants were to begin a seven-game home stand Monday night against the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Selig chose not to travel to that game but said he was leaving open his options to go to San Francisco should Bonds pull within one of the record.
“I’ll see what happens (Monday night) and then see about (today),” said Selig. “I’m going to play it by ear. I’ve said that all along and nothing has changed. I’ve made no decision.”
In his duties as commissioner, Selig will be in Cooperstown, N.Y., this weekend for Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The Giants play four games at home against Atlanta and three against Florida before going back on the road to Los Angeles and San Diego.
Selig declined to address the issue but is known to be monitoring grand jury proceedings in San Francisco, where Bonds is being investigated for possible perjury charges regarding his testimony in the BALCO steroid case.
Last week, the grand jury was extended for six months, and Bonds’ former trainer Greg Anderson remains in jail on contempt charges for refusing to testify against Bonds.
Asked about a possible indictment when the Giants were in Milwaukee over the weekend, Bonds, who turns 43 Tuesday, said, “Do I look concerned?”
Selig reminded reporters in Milwaukee that commissioner Ford Frick chose not to attend the game in 1961 when Roger Maris broke the single-season home run record of Babe Ruth. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn also missed the game in 1974 when Aaron broke Ruth’s career record of 714 home runs.
“Everyone knows I understand the history of the sport,” said Selig. “The longer I’m in the sport, the more I appreciate the history. Anything that impacts the history, I’m certainly appreciative of.”
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