In an candid interview with KGO Radio in San Francisco, Barry Bonds on Tuesday said he receives death threats and just tries to keep a level head as he attempts to break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record.
Bonds didn't elaborate on the nature of the death threats in the approximately 90-minute interview.
Bonds told KGO that he's sorry if he appears standoffish, but he's just trying to be careful because of the threats that are circulating within his camp.
"There's a lot of times I want to say I'm sorry to some of the fans. You're only strong to a point and then you get nervous," Bonds told KGO. "I'm kind of standoffish and stuff and you can't really explain that."
"I'm mostly gun-shy of what can happen. Once this is all over and done, whether I get lucky enough to do it or not, I'll be able to release just a little bit of the anxiety and fear of what can happen.
"You don't want anything to happen to yourself. You don't want anything to happen to your family," Bonds told KGO.
Bonds said he tries to tune out criticism and handle himself in the right way, so that he makes it easier for the player who eventually will challenge his record if he surpasses Aaron's mark.
"If I don't keep a level head, how's the next person going to handle it? If Hank didn't keep his head clear, how was I going to deal with it?" Bonds told KGO.
"If someone doesn't deal with it the right way, it sets up a very bad ending for anybody else who comes along and tries to do this."
When asked if he's bothered by racial overtones associated with his pursuit of Aaron's record, Bonds said it's out of his hands.
"I never get mad at things I can't control. There's nothing you can do about it anyway. You've got less than 8 percent of African Americans in the game of baseball. That's scary," Bonds told KGO.
However, the slugger said he is thankful to be playing in San Francisco and to have Giants fans behind him. He opened the interview with a salute to his supportive fans and called Giants fans "the most forgiving fans on the planet."
"San Francisco is a great city," Bonds told KGO. "I try to tell the new players that you'll never play in a better city."