Several prominent sluggers struggling to produce

Aramis Ramirez and Adrian Beltre lead a list of prominent sluggers who have struggled in the first two months of the season.

Originally Published: May 31, 2006
By Jerry Crasnick |
In the last installment of "Bonds on Bonds,'' Barry Bonds ate breakfast with the kids, hugged a mall sales clerk after spending a bunch of money on skin care products, and tied Babe Ruth with homer No. 714. Not a bad week, all things considered.

Aramis Ramirez
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesAramis Ramirez has failed to pick up the offensive slack for the Cubs with Derrek Lee out of the lineup.
Life got even better Sunday, when Bonds went deep against Byung-Hyun Kim at home and spared himself the ordeal of pursuing the Babe in front of 7,500 Marlins fans holding cardboard asterisks and dressed as syringes.

Unfortunately, reality isn't always as charitable as reality TV. Bonds is second on baseball's all-time homer list now. But he's still a 41-year-old designated hitter masquerading as a left fielder, swinging at pitches he used to disdain and lobbying for a job six months in advance of free agency.

Jerry Crasnick | email MLB Sr. Writer