Bonds posts online farewell message to Giants fans, says team letting him go
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Bonds was told by the San Francisco Giants that he won’t play for them in 2008, he said on his Web site Friday.
But baseball’s all-time home leader said he planned on playing somewhere next season.
In a statement, Bonds said: “This journal will be one of my last entries as a San Francisco Giant. Yesterday, I was told by the Giants that they will not be bringing me back for the 2008 season.”
The Giants planned a news conference for 5 p.m. PDT.
The 43-year-old Bonds, who spent the past 15 seasons of his 22-year big league career with the Giants, broke Hank Aaron’s record with his 756th home run on Aug. 7. He received a $15.8 million, one-year contract for this season.
Bonds has hit 28 homers this season, raising his career total to 762. The left fielder is batting .279 with 66 RBIs.
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. Bonds has also been plagued by personal controversy, including a federal perjury investigation and long-standing allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
In his statement, Bonds said he believes the Giants made the decision long ago not to bring him back for next season.
“Although I am disappointed, I’ve always said baseball is a business, and I respect their decision,” Bonds said. “However, I am saddened and upset that I was not given an earlier opportunity to properly say goodbye to you, my fans, and celebrate with the city throughout the season as I truly believe this was not a last-minute decision by the Giants, but one that was made some time ago.”
Bonds had said he wanted to finish his career in the comfort of his hometown, where his father, Bobby, played alongside his godfather, Willie Mays.
“I would have loved nothing more than to retire as a Giant in the place where I call home and have shared so many momentous moments with all of you, but there is more baseball in me and I plan on continuing my career. My quest for a World Series ring continues,” he said.