Bonds leaning toward calling it a wrap after 2008
PITTSBURGH -- With his place in home run history secure, Barry Bonds says next season likely will be his last.
Bonds previously talked about playing in 2008. On Monday, the San Francisco slugger looked toward retirement.
"[Playing] after next year? I don't know. I don't think so," he said. "I don't think two years I can make."
As for where he'd finish up, Bonds wasn't sure.
"It's hard for me to think about that right now, I'm a Giant," he said. "That's who I am, it would be hard for me to take that uniform off. It would be very hard. But I don't know yet, I have a lot of time to think about it in the wintertime."
Bonds said he wants to play one more season because he still has some reachable goals.
"Yeah, I need to win a championship and get 3,000 hits, that would be nice to [end] my career," he said.
Bonds has 2,919 hits after getting a single in the first game of Monday's makeup doubleheader against Pittsburgh.
Bonds spent the first seven seasons of his major league career with the Pirates. He went 1-for-3 as San Francisco lost the opener 3-1. Bonds sat out the second game of the doubleheader.
The last-place Giants are expected to undergo an offseason roster overhaul to get younger, and it is anticipated they may finally cut ties with 43-year-old Bonds despite his strong production -- 24 homers and 56 RBIs. Bonds, who has played for the Giants since 1993, is unsigned past this season.
Bonds previously joked about playing until he was 100. He has kidded in the past that not everything he says is set in stone.
Last week, Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career home run record with No. 756. He's now up to 758.
Bonds, a two-time MVP while playing for division-winning Pirates teams in 1990 and 1992, received far more cheers than usual as he played left field. Some fans saluted the home run champ by holding up signs reading "Congratulations, Barry" that were included with the ballpark purchase of a local newspaper.
"I had great times here," Bonds said.
Despite his success in Pittsburgh -- he hit 176 home runs for the Pirates from 1986-92, even while leading off for four seasons -- Bonds has been one of the city's least-favorite athletes since his departure.
But unlike other cities, Bonds' lack of popularity in his former home has far more to do with his playoff failures than the late-in-his-career allegations involving performance-enhancing drugs.
The Pirates lost three consecutive NLCS with Bonds in left field, losing a 3-2 series lead in 1991 against Atlanta and a 2-0, ninth-inning lead in Game 7 in Atlanta in 1992.
The Braves scored the winning run when slow-footed Sid Bream made it home on Francisco Cabrera's line-drive single, beating Bonds' throw to the plate. That play is the one Pittsburghers most associate with Bonds.
Bonds talked at length Monday about that throw for the first time in his career, defending where he was playing at the time and his off-line peg. Bonds remembered the count as being 3-2, but it actually was 2-1.
"In that situation, full count, you've got to take a step back and try to cover as much ground as you can in case he hits a line drive. I wanted to make sure if he did hit a line drive to give myself every opportunity to catch the ball, let alone worrying about playing so shallow that I couldn't get there," he said.
"I had to come over to my left and then crossfire -- you can look back and look at the history of baseball and how many times have guys thrown guys out in that situation?"
No matter those postseason failures, Bonds said he fondly remembers the Pirates, manger Jim Leyland, coaches Tommy Sandt and teammates such as Bobby Bonilla, Doug Drabek, John Smiley, Andy Van Slyke, Lloyd McClendon and Rick Rhoden.
"We used to play around-the-world basketball in the locker room with a Nerf ball, but I never won," Bonds said. "I got to the finals a couple of time. The times I had with Mac and Andy and Rhoden and all those guys, that's where you started. You never forget those guys."
Bonds also talked about the raised-hands pose he struck about hitting his 756th home run. He said the only other time he did that was to celebrate a game-winning home run off the Cardinals' Lee Smith in August 1991 at Three Rivers Stadium.
"That was big ... that was the one that got us to the playoffs," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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