Posted: Wednesday May 10, 2006 6:52PM; Updated: Wednesday May 10, 2006 9:57PM
Roger Clemens won back-to-back Cy Youngs with the Blue Jays in 1997 and '98.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Tom Verducci will answer select questions from SI.com users in his Baseball Mailbag.
Why does the speculation about Roger Clemens center on money? He does not need the money. If he wants a World Series ring, the best fit for him is Toronto. He has a history in Toronto and pitched very well for the Blue Jays in his two years in Toronto. The Jays have the best hitting in the AL, an ace starter, and an ace closer. Clemens would seal the deal in Toronto more than he would for any other team. -- Paul Martin, Brampton, Ontario
You would not happen to be a Jays fan, would you? I mean, I like the additions Toronto has made, but you're talking about a team that hasn't seen even second place since 1993. So let's go easy on calling the Jays the best fit for a ring. I can see why you would want him, though. The guy is still a front-of-the- rotation pitcher, and how rare is it to add someone like that in the middle of the season without having to give up any players?
I am tired of all the media (including yourself) slamming Giants fans for our support of Barry Bonds. If Barry was on any other team for the past 10 years, do you honestly believe that those fans wouldn't be supporting him too? If Barry comes up with the bases loaded and uncorks a game-winning single or walkoff bomb, are we supposed to boo him at AT&T Park? You slam us fans, why not turn your pen to the Pat Burrells, the Dusty Bakers, the Reggie Jacksons, the Matt Herges who have all been quoted supporting Bonds? I am a Giants fan first and foremost. I will root for Bonds (with the knowledge that, yes, he most likely used something ... or a lot of things). But I refuse to apologize for my cheering. I will continue to do so. We as fans have that luxury. You as an objective reporter can be high and mighty and above rooting for an accused steroid user. -- Donny, San Mateo, Calif.
Listen, I didn't slam Giants fans for rooting for Bonds. I completely understand it because that's what fans do: they root for their team to win and set aside the other issues. Yankees fans do that with Jason Giambi (now that he can hit again, anyway). Yes, the fans of any other team would be cheering Bonds if he played for them because he helps them win. I get it, so relax already. But understanding the mindset and signing off on it are two different things. I'm not a fan, so I don't condone Bonds. I happen to think that wrong is wrong and that what uniform you happen to wear at the time is irrelevant.
With so much focus on Bonds and the all-time home run record, what will happen to the single-season HR record? Is it fair to leave Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa standing if Bonds gets taken down? McGwire hit 70 and 65 and Sosa topped 61 three times, so calling them slow-moving cars to Bonds' zooming Ferrari seems a little unfair. -- Francesco Paonessa, Toronto, Ontario
The record book will not change. It's too complicated. You can't excise the home runs and leave the outs, singles, walks and everything else in place. Most fans believe the home run totals more than 61 were achieved with the help of performance-enhancing drugs and don't need an eraser to the record book to think that. No one is giving McGwire and Sosa a pass. The debate is framed on Bonds right now because he happens to be an active player chasing the home run record. If Albert Pujols makes a run at 62 home runs this season it will be unofficially treated as historic by a lot of people.
Personally, I laugh at the steroids issue when I think about where medical science is headed. Soon, steroids will seem like popping Tylenol. While I think it is bad for kids especially to know the greatest player is using them, I also like to think if you gave steroids to everybody, Bonds would still be the best. Steroids don't make a baseball player. -- James Vaughn, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sorry, but I can't emphasize enough the lameness of that argument. No one ever said Bonds was not a great player. His talent has absolutely zero relevance to the issue of steroid use by ballplayers (other than the sadness of knowing a guy with so much talent decided it still wasn't enough). What's the point, he's great, therefore, he gets more of a right to cheat than Jorge Piedra? Wrong. And please, please stop with this stuff about steroids not making a baseball player. For the millionth time, we're not talking about Joe Bodybuilder making himself into a home run hitter. We're talking about people with world-class athletic ability and hand-eye coordination skills illegally and unnaturally enhancing their ability and taking their body beyond levels of workout and recovery that would otherwise be their natural limits. I can't believe this topic has been going strong for at least five years and people still don't get it.