Bonds will not return to Giants next season

Sep 22, 2007 - 12:40 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- After 15 years in the Bay Area, controversial slugger Barry Bonds will be moving on.

Bonds will not return to the San Francisco Giants next season, the team announced Friday.

Baseball's all-time home run leader and seven-time National League MVP was informed by San Francisco owner Peter Magowan that 2007 would be his final season with the Giants.

"No one is more aware of what Barry has meant to the Giants and San Francisco than I am," Magowan said in a statement. "He gave our ownership group instant credibility when we bought the team in 1993 and he helped transform the Giants into a consistent winner. For the first 11 years that he was here, the Giants had the third-best record in baseball, and Barry was a huge part of that success.

"Most importantly, Barry helped San Francisco become a baseball town again. I will forever be grateful for all of the success, excitement and memories that he created for our fans. However, all good things must come to an end, and now seems like the right time to move on."

Bonds wrote in a journal entry on his web site, barrybonds.com, that he had no ill feelings toward the organization but wished he was told of his departure earlier so "we had more time to say our goodbyes and celebrate the best 15 years of my life."

Bonds, who set the single-season home run record with 73 in 2001, is a 13-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time batting champion. He is the only member of baseball's 500 homer-500 steal club and holds the all-time records for home runs (762) and walks (2,558).

Bonds has not played since September 15 because of a toe injury and it is uncertain whether he will play again this season.

The journal entry, which was directed at Giants' fans, thanked them for their support and admitted he would have liked to retire with the organization. But Bonds signed off by saying he has more baseball in him and his quest for a World Series title will continue.

From his surly reputation with fans and media to his alleged steroid use, Bonds has been criticized incessantly by the media for the past three to four years.

Always under suspicion, Bonds became the eye of the storm when the 2006 book "Game of Shadows" was written by a pair of San Francisco Chronicle reporters. Using unnamed sources, the reporters described in detail the performance-enhancing drugs that Bonds started taking in 1999.

Among the black marks on Bonds' resume is a possible indictment by a federal grand jury for perjury involving his alleged use of steroids. He also is under investigation for tax evasion after not declaring money earned through card shows and memorabilia signings.






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