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Bonds Wants To Play in 2008


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ST. LOUIS -- Though he certainly hasn't made a formal decision yet, Barry Bonds said Friday that he intends to come back in 2008 for his 23rd Major League season.


"I want to come back, that's the biggest part of it," Bonds told MLB.com before the Giants played the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. "I'm not done yet. I still have things left to accomplish."


Bonds came into the game sitting on 751 homers, four away from tying Hank Aaron's Major League record of 755 and five shy of breaking it. But that's not the half of it.


He has 42 RBIs, placing him 28 away from the 2,000 mark, and with 61 hits already this season, his 2,902 hits are just 98 shy of 3,000. Aaron is the only player in MLB history to amass more than 700 homers, 3,000 hits (3,771) and 2,000 RBIs (2,297). The Hammer also has the all-time lead in RBIs and Bonds would become only the second player to reach 2,000 in the modern era.


Bonds reiterated again that achieving the 3,000-hit plateau was almost as important as passing Aaron on the home run list.


"I want that because Willie [Mays] has it," said Bonds about his godfather, who amassed 3,283 hits in his 22-year career. "But I don't think I'll come close this year."


If he simply matches his first-half output, Bonds could certainly pull within 30 hits of 3,000 and pass the 2,000-RBI plateau this season. That would leave him on the cusp of reaching the 3,000-hit mark early next season.


The question, of course, is where he will play. Bonds, who will turn 43 on July 24, said he would be happy to return for a 16th season and play left field for the Giants. But he's a free agent again this offseason after agreeing to a one-year deal this past December that will pay him as much as $20 million if he surpasses 525 plate appearances. He had 290 going into the three-game weekend series and will earn the majority of the $4.2 million in bonuses by the time he reaches 450.


"I've always said this [san Francisco] is where I want to finish my career," he said. "And I haven't changed my mind about that. But you're asking me a question that is way too premature. And it's also something I have no control over. I don't know what's going to happen. We'll get to that when the time comes."


Bruce Bochy, in his first season of a three-year deal to manage the Giants, said Bonds has been the real deal this season and he'd be glad to have him back next year.


"Barry's been great for us," he said. "He's healthy. He's played well. He's done more than anyone could've asked."


The Giants, of course, won't make that determination until after a season in which management must evaluate the entire on-field operation of a team that is threatening to miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.


As far as Bonds is concerned, the Giants undoubtedly will take into account that he was voted by the fans as the starting left fielder in next Tuesday's All-Star Game at AT&T Park. Plus, Bonds is currently leading the Major Leagues in walks (86), intentional walks (30) and on-base percentage (.514), and his .607 slugging percentage is tops in the National League.


With 17 homers, he's one away from Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk, whose 18 for the White Sox in 1991 are the most for a player who turned 43 or more during that particular season.


For his part, Bonds said he'll again go home and relax for a couple of weeks after the season, discuss the future with his wife and kids and make a formal decision, although he admits at this point he's almost all the way there. Unlike last year, Bonds is not concerned about his health. He had a trio of surgeries on his right knee in 2005 and had surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow at the conclusion of the 2006 season.


This year, he has had a bout with shin splints and a more recent annoying hip problem suffered momentarily during Thursday night's 6-3 loss in Cincinnati. In the fourth inning, Bonds singled, scored from second and was visibly favoring his left side as he crossed home plate.


Though some speculated it might be a knee problem, Bonds said he had a chiropractic adjustment on his back that "popped the hip back into place." He played the rest of the game.


"I couldn't get rid of it," he said. "But it had nothing to do with my knee. My knees are fine."


So is his head, which is telling him that the timeline of his baseball career is not nearly at an end.




I think he'll come back, with the Giants, reach what he wants, and then get "injured" and retire.

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Please retire.


I just want to see, read, hear something different during a baseball season. I'm sick of him. I'm sick of his big fat head always on sportscenter. I'm sick of the steroid scandal. I'm sick of his song and dance speeches to the media like nothing is his fault. I'm sick of Dan Patrick and Colin Cowheard always talking about him. I'm sick that my local newspaper writes about him every day. I'm sick of him never answering a question. I'm sick that I actually sit there and watch him never answer a question. I'm sick to my stomach that he's going to own the most treasured record in professional sports, in doing so, passing a man who had total respect for the game, something he doesnt have. But the last comment has nothing to do with it.. I just WANT SOMETHING ELSE.

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