Barry Bonds will have at least two more seasons to break Hank Aaron's career home run record with the Giants, who decided Tuesday to drop their right to void the final year of his contract.
Under the $90-million, five-year deal agreed to in January 2002, San Francisco could have voided the 2006 season if Bonds failed to reach 500 plate appearances next season or 1,500 from 2003-05, including at least 400 next season.
But with Bonds as dominant as ever, the team decided to keep the 40-year-old outfielder for two more seasons. Bonds grew up around the Giants, the team his father, Bobby, and godfather, Willie Mays, played for.
"This is where I want to end my career. It was very important to Willie. Important to my father," Bonds said. "This is where I want to be."
Bonds, who needs 55 homers to pass Aaron's mark of 755, will make $20-million in 2005 and $18-million in 2006, with $5-million of each year's salary deferred at 3.5 percent and paid from 2007-11.
SECURITY UNCHANGED: There was no extra security around the Oakland bullpen for the start of a three-game series in Texas, and that didn't concern the Athletics.
"There shouldn't be any problem," A's manager Ken Macha said. "People should come to watch a game, a good one at that."
The Rangers played their first home game since the altercation with fans near their bullpen in Oakland on Sept. 13. Rookie reliever Frank Francisco threw a plastic chair into the stands, breaking the nose of a woman whose husband had been heckling.
KENT PONDERS FUTURE: Astros second baseman Jeff Kent is considering retirement, saying, "I don't even know if I'm going to play next year." Moments later, he backed off the statement and asked reporters not to make a big deal about it. Kent, 36, has four children, a ranch and aspirations of owning a motorcycle shop.
ANGELS: Second baseman Adam Kennedy is out for the season because of torn ligaments in his right knee. Kennedy hurt himself in the fifth inning Monday while trying to make a difficult play on a ground single up the middle by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki.
BRAVES: The team plans to launch a cable channel for Atlanta-area digital subscribers devoted to around-the-clock coverage of the team, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The channel, to be called BravesVision, will be a collaborative effort between the team and cable TV operator Comcast.
CUBS: Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra expects to return to the lineup today after being out since Sept. 11 with a strained groin.
ORIOLES: Rafael Palmeiro sat out with a sore right hamstring.
RANGERS: Shortstop Michael Young became the first player in club history with two 200-hit seasons when he doubled in the first inning against Oakland.
RED SOX: Right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Kim has battled injuries and ineffectiveness this season.
_ TIMES WIRES