The all-time home run leader, who has not played in a week due to a sprained big toe, is likely to be out of the lineup again this Saturday night as the Giants and Cincinnati Reds continue their four-game series.
San Francisco general manager Peter Magowan told Bonds on Thursday night that the club does not intend to bring him back for the 2008 season. Magowan held a press conference Friday to formally announce the decision, which Bonds himself had reported earlier in the day on his own Web site.
“I think he knew the decision was coming. I don’t think it was surprising to him. I think, naturally, he was disappointed,” Magowan said of Bonds, who has spent the last 15 of his 22 major league seasons in San Francisco and broke Hank Aaron’s record with his 756th career home run on Aug. 7 at AT&T Park.
“I do believe he’s the greatest player of his generation, one of the greatest players of all time … and it was a great advantage to have a player of his caliber on our team for all those years.”
Prior to his current injury, Bonds had stayed healthy for most of this season. The seven-time NL MVP has played in 125 games, batting .279 with 28 homers to raise his career total to 762. In a statement on his Web site, Bonds said he plans to continue his playing career elsewhere in 2008.
“Although I am disappointed, I’ve always said baseball is a business, and I respect their decision,” Bonds said in the statement. “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.”
The Giants (67-87) have dropped four straight games and five of six without Bonds, including an 11-inning, 9-8 defeat to the Reds on Friday night. Cincinnati scored five runs in the eighth inning to tie the game, then won it in the 11th after Jorge Cantu’s sacrifice fly scored Brandon Phillips, who advanced from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Aaron Harang.
The Reds (71-83) have taken the first two games of this series, and three of four overall to improve to 4-4 on their 10-game road trip. They are 4-1 against the Giants in the season series.
“It’s our job,” Phillips said. “What’s the use of giving up? We don’t want to lose. We want to get as close to .500 as we can.”
San Francisco’s Kevin Correia (4-6, 3.45 ERA) will try to remain undefeated as a starter this season. Since moving into the rotation on Aug. 25, he is 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA, although he’s failed to record a decision in his last two outings.
On Monday at Arizona, the right-hander gave up two runs over 5 2-3 innings of a contest the Giants won 8-5. Correia is 3-1 with a 6.06 ERA in seven appearances - two starts - in his career against Cincinnati.
The Reds counter with Bronson Arroyo (9-14, 4.37), who has pitched well of late with a 5-2 record and 3.49 ERA over his last nine starts. The right-hander failed to earn a decision Monday at Chicago, though, as he allowed four runs and nine hits - two homers - in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-6 loss to the Cubs.
Arroyo is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in six career appearances, including five starts, versus the Giants.