Notes: Bonds wraps up Giants tenure
Slugger says his goodbyes; Blackley to represent Australia
LOS ANGELES -- Barry Bonds never donned a Giants uniform during his final day with the club.The all-time home run leader, whom San Francisco will not re-sign for 2008, spent the final morning of his 15-year Giants tenure Sunday mingling with teammates and chatting with manager Bruce Bochy. Bonds' dressing stall was cleaned out Saturday night -- no big deal, since he announced last Wednesday that he would not play in this weekend's series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the record, he entered the visitors' clubhouse at 10:49 a.m. PT, according to the clock on the wall. Somewhat fittingly, the T-shirt he wore bore the logo of Ol' Man Treestands. Bonds walked around the clubhouse a couple of times, at one point thumping rookie Eugenio Velez in the tummy before receiving a playful punch in the shoulder from right-hander Scott Munter. Shortly afterward, he sat in a corner of Bochy's office for about 20 minutes and free-associated with the skipper. Later, he politely declined final interview requests. "We talked about a lot of things, the team, but not just baseball," Bochy said. "It's going to be different without Barry Bonds. There's no getting around it: This guy's impacted the game more than any other player I think ever in baseball. To walk as many times as he has, and of course the home runs ..." Oh, yes, the home runs. As a final reminder, Bonds finished with a team-high 28 home runs to hike his record total to 762. "We have to try to replace one of the best players of all time," infielder Rich Aurilia said. "Even though he didn't play a lot down the stretch, his numbers were pretty good for a guy who's 43 years old and didn't play every day." Nobody could deny that Bonds changed the atmosphere around the Giants simply by walking in the room -- as he did Sunday. "It's going to be a different club and clubhouse. This guy's a presence," Bochy said. "He's going to be remembered as not just one of the greatest players ever, but one of the greatest Giants. You had Willie Mays and now you have Barry Bonds. It's pretty remarkable that one organization has had two of the greatest players ever to play the game." Short hops: Left-hander Travis Blackley won't rest for long. He'll pitch for Australia in the qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics beginning in November. Blackley regards it as a must-win experience, pointing out that the Australian baseball program could lose funding if they don't advance. "As much as I'm doing it for my country, I'm also doing it for the people coming up behind me," Blackley said. ... Beginning his second season with the Giants next Spring Training should automatically help Bochy feel more comfortable. "They'll have a better idea of what I'm about and I'll have a better idea of what they're about," Bochy said. ... San Francisco began Sunday's finale with 88 errors, its second-fewest since the franchise's move West in 1958. The 2003 team committed 80 errors. ... The Giants entered the game with 59 stolen bases since Aug. 1, second in the National League in that span to the New York Mets' 72. Coming up: Giants pitchers and catchers are expected to report for Spring Training in Scottsdale, Ariz., in mid-February.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.