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Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's career home run mark has officially reached the point where the rest of Baseball Nation is rooting for the recalcitrant left fielder to hit No. 756 if for no other reason than to make it all go away.

With the assistance of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement about his decision to come to San Francisco to watch Bonds chase Aaron, apparently choosing that over downing a bottle of castor oil. No word on how many containers of hand sanitizers Selig has brought with him in the eventuality that he actually has to shake Bonds' hand when it's all mercifully over.

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Meanwhile, a chemist at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, told Bob Costas last night that Bonds and Detroit Tigers slugger Gary Sheffield both took performance-enhancing drugs, contrary to their public statements and to statements they supposedly made to a federal grand jury.

Speaking on HBO's "Costas Now," Patrick Arnold, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to distribute steroids, said Victor Conte, BALCO's Founder, often spoke of Bonds being on "the program," which Arnold took to mean "the clear,' a previously undetectable steroid that Arnold created. Conte denied telling Arnold that Bonds had used steroids.

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