15 and Not Done


No surprise. Maybe the timing was a surprise but not the news. The San Francisco Giants said Friday that they would release Barry Bonds at the end of the 2007 season and not sign him next year. Bonds, through a statement on his website, thank the team, the city and its fans for their support during his 15 seasons with the team. But he added, very clearly. that he isn;t done. He said he’ll play next season – if a team will have him. Those are my words.

And that’s a very big if.

“It’s always difficult to say goodbye,” Giants owner Peter Magowan said . “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.”

Bonds’ statement:

“Dear Fans,

“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. During the conversation with Peter McGowan I was told that my play this year far exceeded any expectations the Giants had, but that the organization decided this year would be my last season in San Francisco. Although I am disappointed, I’ve always said baseball is a business – and I respect their decision. 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. I don’t have nor do I want any ill feelings towards the organization, I just wish I had known sooner so we had more time to say our goodbyes and celebrate the best 15 years of my life.

“I consider the City of San Francisco and you, the fans, my family. Thank you for loving me and supporting me throughout all the highs and lows. I feel a deep connection with you as I have grown up with all of you since the days my dad first became a Giant. The Bay Area has loved my family and friends for so many years and I thank you for that. It is now a time for change, as many athletes have experienced. It is comforting to know that those who have come before me – Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, to name a few – have forever remained in the hearts of the fans, as I know I will too.

“During my career as a Giant, so many people made significant impressions on my life. I’d like to thank all my past and current teammates. I’ve had the opportunity to play with some amazingly talented ballplayers who have treated me with respect, supported me and rooted for me throughout the years. Mike Murphy, our devoted Equipment Manager, used to baby-sit me as a little boy at Candlestick Park. There are no words to describe the love and respect I have for him. Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper are the two best broadcasters in the business. Their professionalism, integrity and love for the game, puts them in a league of their own. I thank them for their support and I’m honored to call them friends. It is also important to thank all the men and women behind the scenes at the stadium who come to work every day and make it possible for us all to enjoy a day at the ballpark. I love walking to clubhouse hearing their “hellos” every day.

“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.

“Until next time,

Barry Bonds

San Francisco Giants' general manager Brain Sabean speaks at a news conference before the Giants played the Cincinnati Reds in a baseball game in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 21, 2007. The San Francisco Giants have told Barry Bonds that he won't play for them in 2008. Giants GM Brain Sabean


One thought on “15 and Not Done

  1. R. Pick says:

    All athletes should look at Barry Bonds and his sudden humility. They should realize that someday they too may want to play for a bit longer, and the only thing standing in their way may be their past, and from that, there is no hiding.

    Do you remember Allen Iverson refusing to show up for practice?

    Do you remember Terrell Owens parking in Coach Andy Reid’s parking space while refusing to participate in workout sessions?

    Do you remember Milton Bradley going berserk against an umpire, which resulted in the unintentional tearing his ACL? An accident that seriously hurt his team’s postseason chances?

    Do you remember Albert Haynesworth stepping on the unprotected head of Andre Guroud with steal cleats?

    Do you remember Barry Bonds being aloof and surly towards his managers and fellow players?

    Do you remember Barry Bonds separating his area of the locker room from his teammates?

    You may not remember these events, but the coaches and general managers remember them. As long as you can perform, you are allowed to get away with certain egregious behavior, but as your skill wanes, so does the desire of teams to have you around. Jerry Rice played several years longer than his skills warranted, but his years of model behavior and outstanding leadership earned him the extra years.

    This off-season Bonds will sit by the phone with his fingers crossed, hoping it will ring, and as he does, he should think back on his career and all the things he could have done differently.

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