NEW YORK -- Under the circumstances, Barry Bonds doesn't believe Alex Rodriguez will "have the time" to overtake him and go into first place on the all-time home run list.
"Not in two years," Bonds said. "He said he's only going to play two more years. He said he's retiring. So he's not going to do it in two more years if he's retiring."
Bonds, the Marlins' hitting coach, is the all-time leader with 762 homers. Rodriguez, the Yankees' designated hitter, has one homer this season and is sitting at 688.
A-Rod will be 41 years old on July 27 and his 10-year, $275 million contract comes to an end after the 2017 season. He has hinted during the spring and again as the season began that he intends to retire after the expiration of that contract.
Rodriguez returned last season to hit 33 home runs after missing most of 2013 because of a hip surgery and all of '14 because of a season-long suspension. Even if he maintains that pace over the course of these two seasons, A-Rod would fall nine homers short of Bonds. He needs 74 homers to catch Bonds and 75 to pass him.
"It's nothing against A-Rod. I love the guy. He's one of my best friends," Bonds said. "But just do the math. He'd have to hit close to 40 a year [actually 37] just to get there. He's the one who set the bar of retirement at two years. I don't think he can do that in two years. I'm just trying to be realistic.
"But in three years, if he plays longer, he could do it. If he says he's retiring, then, 'No, you won't.'"
Bonds believes Rodriguez will easily reach 700.
"He won't struggle to do that," Bonds said. "That's going to happen this year."
Babe Ruth is currently 26 homers away from A-Rod's grasp. The Bambino hit 659 of his 714 homers for New York, the most of any Yankees player. A-Rod has hit 343 of his 688 homers since he joined the Yanks in a trade with Texas prior to the 2004 season.
A-Rod could certainly reach Ruth sometime later in the season.
"I know he can get that one," Bonds said. "I think he can hit 30 homers this year, I know he can hit 30 homers."
But reaching too far beyond that is problematic.
"I know he can hit 30-30, I know he can do that each year," Bonds said. "That I have no doubt. That's realistic. But if you have to hit 40 and 40, that's not. I don't see that."