No escaping the doubt 

May, 23, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO -- I don't know whether Barry Bonds will catch Hank Aaron or not, but I'm beginning to think that Albert Pujols might lap him on his way there.

In his first meeting of the season with Bonds and the Giants, Pujols had a rare homerless night Monday but he still has 22 home runs thus far. That puts him on a pace to hit 79 home runs this season, six more than Bonds hit in 2001. True, after the first 20 years of my life, I was on pace to be 12 feet tall and weigh 330 pounds by now. Sadly, I'm closing in on the 330 pounds though I haven't grown an inch.

So obviously a lot could happen between now and September, with the most likely scenario that Pujols' pace slows. But if he continues to swat home runs almost every other game, that gives us another dilemma. Many of us already wrestle with whether to get excited about Bonds matching Babe Ruth's career home run total, but should we start getting excited about the chance that Pujols could break Barry's single-season record? Or will many of us forever view huge home run totals with suspicion no matter a player's innocence or how strictly baseball tests for performance-enhancing drugs?

Jim Caple | email

ESPN Senior Writer
Author of "The Devil Wears Pinstripes" and winner of a Sports Emmy. Reported from 17 World Series, 9 Olympics, 6 continents.