Bonds’ late surge puts Giants in quandary

Well, folks, he’s gone and done it. Barry Bonds has gummed up the works with any Giants hopes of a rebuilding project next year.

Bonds has made it virtually impossible for the Giants to say, “Goodbye,” after this season. He’s hit just enough home runs, been just imposing enough in the fourth spot in their batting order that the Giants are going to have to bring him back next year.

Just ask the season-ticket holders.

He’s too close to the record of all records — Hank Aaron’s all-time career home run mark of 755. When Bonds homered Monday night in Cincinnati, it was his 22nd home of the season, 730th of his career, putting him just 25 shy of Aaron’s mark.

There’s no way the Giants could step aside and watch Bonds break Aaron’s record next year in another team’s uniform. Figure Barry to hit another handful this year, which should put him somewhere around 20 shy of the mark.

He really could do it. I never thought I’d write that, but it really feels as if he could pass Aaron. That didn’tseem to be the case even a month ago.

And that stinks for the Giants’ plans to remake the team for next year because they were going in another direction. They have a ton of unclaimed money, ready to use in free agency.

And, now, the big question around the Giants’ offices has to be, “How much will Barry cost in 2007?”

At a couple million in base salary, with all kinds of incentives, it would be a no-brainer. The Giants would have a sweet deal, in terms of tickets they would sell because Bonds is here. However, would Bonds accept such a deal? That’s the bigger question.

Bonds has the mind of a champion and he still thinks he’s the Barry Bonds of 2002. And that means he believes he commands the same paycheck.

The Giants will go into the talks thinking no other team would want Bonds. Bonds will go in thinking he’s Barry Bonds, and it doesn’t matter who else wants him.

It will be an interesting negotiation, to say the least. Good luck, Brian Sabean.

There was another big development this week that could affect the Giants’ offseason plans. Jonathan Sanchez’s performance Wednesday puts another name in the Giants’ roster of young arms that could be part of next year’s rotation.

The Giants’ decision whether or not to re-sign, or at least how much to offer, Jason Schmidt could hinge on how Sanchez pitches the rest of the way.

If the Giants had to decide between a rotation that included Matt Cain, Noah Lowry, Matt Morris and either Schmidt or Jamie Wright, sign Schmidt whatever the cost. But the idea of pushing a 23-year-old left-hander into the group becomes an intriguing possibility.

No matter how things pan out in this National League wild-card race, things will be very interesting this offseason for the occupants of One Willie Mays Plaza.

NOW THAT I’VE GOT YOUR ATTENTION: The Warriors are still the Warriors, and Baron Davis is still Baron Davis. Don Nelson or not.

» Don’t give up on Cal’s football season just because the Bears laid a nice big egg in week one. Knoxville, Tenn., is no easy place to place no matter how good the volunteers are.

» I’m not getting a good feeling regarding the 49ers. As I’ve said before, I’m rooting for them. Even though I think they’ve made progress, I see them struggling through another four-win season. Please, Mike Nolan, prove me wrong.

Tim Liotta hosts the weekend edition of “Sportsphone 680” on KNBR (680 AM).

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