MLB.com:What are your reflections on the night you broke Aaron’s record?
Bonds:I felt relieved a little bit, but at the same time excited, at the same time I felt blessed, at the same time I felt grateful to Aaron that he set something so significant there to give us something to shoot for. I can go on and on and on with so many different kinds of feelings and so many different kinds of emotions. I don’t know if they’re right or wrong. You know what I mean? They are what they are. My family was there, my kids, the city. I’m glad I did it in San Francisco.
MLB.com:Anything you would have done differently?
Bonds:I got a ball and I hit it, so in that way there’s nothing I would have done differently. As far as handling the media, I would have done a lot of things differently. The character I created on the field was a different person than the way I was off the field. It was that person that made me perform. It gave me the push to perform. Whether you hated me or loved me, you came to see that person or that show. And with the media, I needed space. When the first thing that happens after you get to the clubhouse every day is questions about the chase or how you feel, I’ll admit it now that it was hard for me to deal with and I could’ve done it a lot better. That’s a lot for one individual. You’re going to snap. It’s hard when you have to do that every day for 162 days. Add Spring Training. It would be tough for anyone.
MLB.com:Because of knee injuries, it also stretched out for almost four seasons after you passed Willie at 660 early in 2004. That was a long haul. Had it been a little more condensed, wouldn’t it have been a bit easier?
Bonds: I agree with that, but I could’ve given the media a little more than I did at the time. Back then, I didn’t think I could. But I also feel that the people around me could have given me some breathing room to make it easier. When you’re just shoved out there by yourself all the time, I believe some people can do it. I was just not one of them. And I admit it, I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t good at that. I wasn’t good for the sole reason of the things I saw as I grew up with my father. And how my father and Willie were loved at one moment and then dropped off at some corner and told, “Good luck!” the next. I wasn’t willing to subject myself to that and I wasn’t willing to give them that. Now that I look back at it, it might have been a lot more fun if I had. It might have been good to do that.