I will vote for Barry Bonds because he was worthy long before he and his numbers got comic-book huge. This line of reasoning has been slammed by many, and I respect that. But I'm not going to abide by it, in this case. Bonds had three MVPs before his transgressions, and his personality is the only thing that kept him from four in a row. His first season with the Giants, in 1993, was the single greatest season I've seen in the non-comic book era.

With Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, I have the same problem I have with Mark McGwire. The numbers that made McGwire a candidate -- 70 home runs in a season and 583 for a career -- would not have happened without chemistry. I believe that to be true of Sosa as well. His best qualifications -- three 60-homer seasons and 609 overall -- don't happen without chemistry. He came into that "magical" 1998 season, a veteran of roughly eight full seasons, with 207 career homers.

Clemens is tougher. He was a star from the start. Won a Cy Young and an MVP at age 24, won another Cy the next year and then a third before he began to fade. When he left Boston, at age 34, he had 192 wins -- hardly a Hall of Fame number. Then he found the "fountain" of youth, won four more Cy Youngs, including one at 42 years old. I'm not buying it.

And I'm not voting him. I'll have 14 years to reconsider, starting next year.