LOS ANGELES — When Alex Rodriguez hit 14 home runs in the New York Yankees' first 18 games, most people watched his swing.

Barry Bonds paid attention to his eyes.

"I can see it on TV. I see it in his face," Bonds said Tuesday. "You can just see that his eyes are just different. He is just different, and it's just phenomenal to watch. And I can see it as a player. We're able to pick up on little things you guys aren't able to."

Rodriguez has already tied the major league record for home runs in April and is on pace to hit 119 this season. While that's not a reasonably sustainable rate, another solid month will bring about talk of challenging the single-season record of 73 that Bonds set in 2001.

What if A-Rod hits 74?

"I would be ecstatic," Bonds said. "It wouldn't bother me one bit. ... I'm so happy for him. It's great. ... I hope you guys enjoy it too, because it's just phenomenal. I hope he hits 100. I really do."

Bonds, who entered Friday 15 home runs away from Hank Aaron's all-time record, said he hopes Rodriguez passes them all to become the game's home run king.

"Hell yeah," Bonds said. "Hell yeah. Because, man, that's what the game's about. It's exciting, and it brings people to the stadium. Somebody else does it, that's awesome. Go on A-Rod, do your damn thing. I don't care what anybody says. Keep that look in your eye, because it's solid."

Bonds knows what it feels like to hit home runs in bunches. In 2001, he hit 14 in a 14-game stretch from May 17 to June 1. Then he hit three more in his next five games.

"You just keep yourself in that same mode and keep your focus," Bonds said. "That's the main thing. A-Rod's a great player."

ONE-HOPPER: Omar Vizquel celebrated his birthday Tuesday by becoming the 17th major-leaguer since 1901 to play a game at shortstop in his 40s. The last over-40 shortstop in the major leagues was Barry Larkin in 2004.

Only eight men over 40 have played at least 10 games at the position, and just four have exceeded 50 games there, according to baseball-reference.com: Honus Wagner (356), Luke Appling (354), Ozzie Smith (93) and Larkin (70).