Barry Bonds will not be a San Francisco Giant next year. Who heâ€™ll be playing for is unknown, but one thing is certain â€“ the man has worn out his welcome in the City by the Bay. After breaking Hank Aaronâ€™s career home run record and having a mediocre season this year by Bondsâ€™ standards, Barry will be looking for a job. Itâ€™s been a long run for him in San Francisco, the team heâ€™ll always be associated with after his career is long over.
A lot of fans are saying that Giants Owner Peter Magowan is abandoning Bonds after his team benefited from all the fame, press and added attendance that came with the home run record chase. Thatâ€™s a bunch of nonsense. Bonds was paid very well and if anything, the Giants could have sprung him last winter but didnâ€™t out of loyalty for what Barry did for the team in the past.
Logically, Bonds will be going to a team in the American League, where he can DH and put his glove in storage -- which is a good thing, considering heâ€™s lost a few steps in the outfield, where he was definitely a liability for the Giants this season.
And what team in its right mind will want to pay Bonds the big bucks he will no doubt be demanding? The Yankees? (Steinbrenner will love the press heâ€™ll get) The Angels? (Bonds will fit right in at Disneyland) Or how about a small market team like the Royals or the Devil Rays where he can be a big fish in a small pond? Other stars played their last seasons on lesser-known teams. Babe Ruth ended his career as a Boston Brave and Aaron finished off playing for the Milwaukee Brewers. Maybe Barry would like to fade off into the sunset on a team that will adore him just for who he is.
This appeared on aol.com sports last night:
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."
Prior to the toe injury, he had been mostly healthy, playing 125 games. The left fielder has 2,935 career hits and has said that reaching 3,000 is a goal of his.
"This is a guy who plays every day and is still leading the National League in some league categories, which is amazing," teammate Barry Zito said. "He's really done special things this year being at the age that he is. If Barry has the opportunity to go be a DH somewhere I'm sure that's only going to prolong his career."
Despite Bonds' personal achievements, the season has been a disappointing one for the Giants, who are mired deep in last place in the NL West.
"We've heard for a long time that the Giants are an old team and want to get younger, so we're not surprised," said Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris. "Barry is their oldest player, but qualitatively, he's their best player."
"He's still planning on playing next year, irrespective of whether it's an AL or NL team," he said.
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
Bonds Will Be A Giant No More
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
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