Bonds era ending in San Francisco
Giants tell home run king he won't be invited back
Updated: Friday September 21, 2007 10:05PM
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds is finished in San Francisco.
The Giants told Bonds they will not bring him back next season, ending a 15-year run in which he set the single-season and all-time home run records and became a lightning rod for the steroids debate in baseball.
"It's always difficult to say goodbye," Giants owner Peter Magowan said Friday. "It's an emotional time for me. We've been through a lot together these 15 years. A lot of good things have happened. Unfortunately a lot of bad things have happened. But there comes a time when you have to go in a different direction."
On his Web site, Bonds said he wasn't done.
"There is more baseball in me and I plan on continuing my career. My quest for a World Series ring continues," he said.
The 43-year-old Bonds did not join Magowan and general manager Brian Sabean at the news conference. Asked whether he had anything to add, Bonds said, "I already made my statement."
Bonds had always said he wanted to finish his career in the comfort of his hometown, where his father, Bobby, played alongside his godfather, Willie Mays. Bonds talked with Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey and took batting practice in the cage before Friday night's game against Cincinnati.
Bonds hasn't played since Sept. 15 because of a sprained right big toe and was out of the lineup again. Manager Bruce Bochy said he thought Bonds could play this weekend. The Giants' final homestand ends Wednesday night.
Magowan said he and Sabean recently decided about Bonds' future. Magowan personally told Bonds in a 90-minute meeting during Thursday night's game against Cincinnati.
"I think he knew the decision was coming," Magowan said. "I don't think it was surprising to him. I think, naturally, he was disappointed, maybe somewhat saddened," Magowan said. "But he was really very respectful."
Bonds broke Hank Aaron's record with his 756th home run on Aug. 7. Bonds helped revitalize a struggling franchise that nearly moved to Florida before he signed with the Giants as a free agent in December 1992.
Bonds has spent the past 15 seasons of his 22-year big league career with the Giants. Re-signed as a free agent in the offseason, he made $19.3 million in a one-year contract, including $3.5 million in bonuses.
Shadowed by steroid speculation for the past few years, Bonds has hit 28 homers this season, raising his career total to 762. The seven-time NL MVP is batting .279 with 66 RBIs and a major league-leading 132 walks.
"He can still play," Sabean said. "He's still one of the biggest threats of any No. 4 hitter in the National League."