September 22, 2007 Alfred Branch Jr.
The Associated Press and Sports Illustrated are reporting that the San Francisco Giants have told slugger Barry Bonds that they will not resign him for 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.