Bonds wanted more

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

On Mon­day, his 10th an­niver­sary of break­ing base­ball’s all-time home run mark, Barry Bonds (above) said he be­lieves he would have reached 800 home runs or come very close if his ca­reer hadn’t ended amid steroid al­le­ga­tions and a fed­eral case.

SAN FRAN­CISCO — Barry Bonds so badly wanted to play one fi­nal sea­son.

On the 10th an­niver­sary of break­ing base­ball’s all­time home run mark, Bonds told The Associated Press on Mon­day night he be­lieves he would have reached 800 home runs or come very close if his ca­reer hadn’t ended amid steroid al­le­ga­tions and a fed­eral case.

Bonds said it “stung” to walk away from a dec­o­rated 22-year ca­reer with lit­tle no­tice im­me­di­ately af­ter a record-set­ting 2007 sea­son with the San Fran­cisco Giants, when he topped Hank Aaron’s mark.

Bonds said there were never dis­cus­sions about him play­ing for the Giants in 2008 — he was charged with ob­struc­tion of jus­tice and per­jury by a grand jury dur­ing that off­sea­son. He also said he didn’t push for it be­cause, “I was just told I’m not com­ing back and that was it.”

An ob­struc­tion of jus­tice con­vic­tion was overturned in 2015, and Bonds, 53, now works for the Giants. He was at AT&T Park on Mon­day night, the same place he hit No. 756 to pass Aaron.

Bonds fin­ished with 762 home runs, and the seven-time NL MVP ended his ca­reer un­der the cloud of steroid al­le­ga­tions.

“Yeah, it should have only been nine (years ago). I should have played one more year, I should have had the chance to,” Bonds said, stand­ing be­hind the bat­ting cage.

“It’s all right, though. Those 22 were still good. I wish I could have got­ten to re­tire bet­ter, or just walk away bet­ter, what­ever it was, how­ever you want to call it,” he said.

Bonds waved from the broad­cast booth when he was shown on the big board be­fore the top of the third in­ning, when high­lights of his record-set­ting home run were played.

“I was what [38] away from 800? I’d have been real close. I would have never hit un­der 20-some­thing, no mat­ter what,” Bonds said.

Hours ear­lier, Bonds spent time chat­ting up his 2007 man­ager, cur­rent San Fran­cisco skip­per Bruce Bochy, and giv­ing some guid­ance to Pablo San­doval and Jar­rett Parker be­tween their turns tak­ing bat­ting prac­tice.

Bonds said he hadn’t even thought about this be­ing 10 years since his mile­stone home run un­til hear­ing from the team with an in­vite to the ball­park Mon­day, when the Giants hosted the World Se­ries cham­pion Chicago Cubs and lost 5-3 in the se­ries opener.

“I didn’t know it was 10 years,” he said. “I didn’t even know I was out of base­ball 10 years. It feels like just yes­ter­day.”

Later, he posted on Twit­ter: “Thank you SFGiants for go­ing down mem­ory lane with me to­day. Who was there for 756? #10yearsago­to­day.”

As the Giants hit­ters got loose, Bonds pon­dered what might have been with a sea­son more of chances.

“It al­ways will eat at you in a way, al­ways, be­cause it just wasn’t right the way it was done. It is what it is. Just to say good­bye like that af­ter all, that’s not cool,” he said.

“But I’ve learned to over­come it and ac­cept it and move on. If I didn’t over­come it I wouldn’t be back here,” he added. “There’s no rea­son to sub­ject my­self to that kind of stuff. If it wasn’t for me to just over­come it then just say, I played my 22 years, I had a great ca­reer, I love my city, the city loves me. That means more to me than any­thing. You’ve got to weigh it all. Great com­mu­nity, great city, great fans here, fam­ily I say mostly, that’s what they are.”

AP file photo


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