SAN FRANCISCO -- Turns out Barry Bonds had a message for Giants managing general partner Peter Magowan when the two had their farewell meeting a night before the team announced the termination of its relationship with baseball's home run king.

Safe to say, it was not an endorsement of his former boss' choice.

"I told Peter Magowan that even if I'm a part-time player, I'm still better than your everyday players," Bonds said Wednesday. "And it's a wise idea to keep me around."

It's also safe to say that the approximately 450 people who filed into the ballroom at the Hotel Nikko, where Bonds appeared in front of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, would second that. The setting was the stage for a Bonds love fest, complete with myriad ovations, a fawning host who asked not one newsworthy question, and, apparently, a Bay Area icon who hasn't entirely ruled out the possibility that he'll call AT&T Park home next season.

"We still have time," he said. "Things might change."

Bonds sat down with KGO radio host Ray Taliaferro for a 61-minute interview that focused primarily on Bonds' upbringing, his technical approach to hitting, his charitable acts and the love he feels for the city of San Francisco. Not one question about Bonds' alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs was asked.

Nor were any questions about the end of his 15-year relationship with the Giants posed.


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The inquiry that prompted Bonds' impromptu critique -- would Bonds take a one-year, $5 million contract every year to remain with the Giants as long as he wanted -- was raised by the audience, some of whom paid as much as $125 for a chance to see Bonds in a suit and tie. Actor Danny Glover, a friend of Bonds', was the most notable attendee.

It did not take a question from the audience, however, for Bonds to reveal his true feelings about his split from the Giants. That came after Taliaferro opened the conversation by reciting Bonds' most notable achievements -- among them his seven MVP awards (five with the Giants) and his record 762 home runs -- and facetiously asking if, indeed, Bonds had achieved all that.

"I did," Bonds said. "And I got fired."

Still, he said he harbored no ill will toward his former team, saying that no matter where he might play in the future, "I'll always root for them," and even selling himself as a possible owner.

"If I got the opportunity to run the Giants organization ... we'd win a World Series," he said. "I know the game so well. I can see talent. I know exactly what I'd be looking for."

As for what his future holds, Bonds had no definitive answers. By rule, teams cannot talk to him until 10 days after the World Series is over. Asked specifically by an audience member about the possibility of being a designated hitter for the Yankees, he dismissed the notion, saying the Yanks already were set at the position.

"That's a dream that's never going to happen," he said.

Contact Rick Hurd at rhurd@bayareanewsgroup.com.