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Owner Refuses to Commit to Bonds as a Giant

October 03, 2006|From the Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — If Barry Bonds is back with the San Francisco Giants next season, and that still seems to be a big if, owner Peter Magowan said the slugger would not be the centerpiece of the roster any longer.

"I think we need to go in a new direction," Magowan said Monday after the club announced manager Felipe Alou's contract would not be renewed. "We have for a long time had a strategy that has worked well until the last two years, when it hasn't worked so well. The strategy has been one of having a great player -- maybe the greatest player in the game -- at the centerpiece and filling in with veteran players....

"Now we do need to get younger and healthier."

The Giants have 11 potential free agents and are evaluating whom they might want to retain -- and Magowan made it clear No. 25 wouldn't be wearing a Giants uniform in 2007 only to sell tickets.

The 42-year-old Bonds' $90-million, five-year contract is up with San Francisco, though he has said he would like to return to the Giants for a 15th season; 2007 would be his 22nd in the big leagues.

Bonds has 734 home runs, 22 from breaking Hank Aaron's career record of 755, and is eligible for free agency after the World Series. After missing all but 14 games in 2005 following three operations on his right knee, Bonds batted .270 with 26 home runs and 77 RBIs in 367 at-bats in 2006.

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