From Miguel Sanchez: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
I don't know. I really don't know. Perceptions are based upon what writers give people. I think the public's perception of people is through writers. That's the unfortunate thing. People don't really have a one-on-one relationship with you. They don't know what you do at home.
When you're on the field you're a different person because you're on a battlefield at that time. You're competing against so many different odds: for the fan's gratification, for the organization's satisfaction, for your own satisfaction. You're dealing with a lot of pressure. And all it takes is to shun one reporter because maybe you have to go home or have some other responsibility or whatever. That can spark a fire throughout the rest of the season. That's just how it is, I guess.
From Mike Galizio: How much of an influence was your father, Bobby Bonds, in your decision to become a ballplayer? Did you feel any pressure?
I didn't feel any pressure because I didn't really understand what my father did. I liked baseball, but my idols were Willie Mays and a lot of the other ballplayers. Like my son now. He's into Ken Griffey Jr., Matt Williams, and, lately, Sammy Sosa. It's all he talks about. I think some of the pressure comes from the expectations of other people. Like if your father played baseball, they expect you to be the big lifesaver or something when you play a sport. But that can't always necessarily be true.
From tgutier: Do you want your son Nikolai to be a ballplayer?
I want Nikolai to do whatever he wants to do. That isn't something I'd push on him. If that's something he wants to do, then that's what he'll do. He loves baseball. He'd love to be a pro, but I told him that's not the most important thing in life. I told him that his education is the most important thing because without it you can't get anywhere in life. People will pass you over or take advantage of you. You need to get that first and then you can play sports.
Only eight players have ever earned Most Valuable Player honors three times in their career. Bonds picked up two MVP trophies with the Pirates (1990 and 1992) and one with the Giants (1993).
From Devon Claytor: During those seven weeks that you were injured, did the thought ever cross your mind that you might not ever play baseball again, and that it was a career-ending injury?
No, those thoughts never crossed my mind.
From Tim Swartz: How did you cope with being on the sidelines, watching your teammates play with no control over the game?
It's an emotional stress on me because it's something I'm not accustomed to. I figure if you put on a suit to go to work, then that's what you're supposed to do. Do your job. If I put on a uniform to go to work, then I should do my job. The Giants pay me a lot of money, and that means I should play every day, keep myself in good physical shape, and play the way I'm capable of playing. Unfortunately, the injury has been a setback. And the team's position is that it's better to have me healthy long-term, have me playing for more years, than push the situation and possibly risk re-injuring the elbow. And I definitely agree with that.
From Jeff: When you're ready to retire, do you think that you will be a coach for the Giants?
When I finish playing, I think I'd like to coach college baseball. I'd like to help educate kids about the Major Leagues � what to anticipate, what to expect, what they'll need to do to prepare themselves.
I don't want to be a Major League coach. I wouldn't want to travel that much, after so many years of doing that. I'd like to help educate kids about the game of baseball, what they need to do and how to manage their lives a little bit easier. Also, for the long haul in professional sports, show them the way financially and not allow agents or anyone else to manipulate them into not managing their money properly. Young players need to know how to take care of themselves for life after baseball.
From Les Smith: What do you think about the new players that the Giants have brought up from the minors? Have any of them impressed you?
Joe Nathan. He was up with the big club for a time. And Armando Rios. He's an outstanding player.
It's their attitude, even their body odor! They just give off an aura that they belong here. That confidence, that's what you look for, that's what you want in a kid coming up. I tell them to just do the things that you did to get you here today. And now that you're here, don't be afraid to be here. Do the same things that got you here.
Nathan, while he was here, impressed me a lot. And Miguel Del Toro impressed me during Spring Training. I think those two, and Armando, have been outstanding. Russ Ortiz has already been here a while, so he doesn't count!
From Steven Matthews: Who is the hardest pitcher for you to hit?
Every pitcher can beat you, it doesn't matter how good you are. I mean, you can say, "I don't want to face Randy Johnson, he's overpowering." And believe me, he is! But to be the best, you must face the best. And to overcome your fear, you must deal with the best.
I look at it as a challenge. If you're afraid to face the best, then I don't think you can become the player you could be. You have to be able to get across that barrier, that fear. It doesn't matter if it's Johnson or Roger Clemens.
Back when I first started Nolan Ryan was still a dominating pitcher � even though he was at the end of his career. The best thing I ever did was strike out three times against him in Spring Training, because I wanted to be in there so badly. But I was so afraid because it was Ryan and he threw so hard and my dad had faced him. So then when I struck out three times, I think it was the best outcome, because I realized I could overcome my fear. My legs were shaking, nobody could see it but my whole body was shaking! I was so nervous, I was sweating through my batting gloves. The thing is, he had no idea. And I went out there swinging even though I struck out three times. He didn't know I was afraid, and that was the key. I overcame that fear, and that's when I knew in my life that I wanted to go up against and challenge the best, face the best.
From Chris Quick: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No, I think superstitions don't do anything to make you a better player.
From Gregory G. Mitchell: What happened to your gold cross earring?
It broke and I had to get it repaired. The cross is for my grandfather who passed away.
From Patrick Walsh: I am not sure you still wear them, but whose face adorned your arm bands? Are those little pictures of you?
They were pictures of me. They said "Just Say 'No' to Drugs." I don't wear them anymore. The company who made them stopped making them.
From Miles Lane: Many fans are aware that you use the Internet a lot. What do you do online?
I like to do personal business for myself on the Internet. My finances, my investments ... all the research that I do is on the Internet.
I don't usually do any baseball stuff on the internet. I'm cofounder of a company called Digital Interiors, and I e-mail back and forth with my partners. Basically it's an information and research tool for me.
And if I need something for my kids, I can research that over the Internet. Like if I'm looking for a special camp or something, I can find that on the web.
Or if I want to know, for example, what Bill Gates is going to come up with next, I'll go to the Microsoft website and read something about it. And maybe he had a seminar about the company not long ago and I'll be able to find that article and read about it to see where they're going with new technology in the future.
I try to keep up with many of the high-tech companies to find out what's going to happen, what's being developed. It's also for my kids, if they need some new technology or something for school. I want to be knowledgeable about new technology so I can teach them about it.
From Jack Hutchison: I marvel at your defensive play. How do you decide where to position yourself for each batter? I've heard you sit in on meetings with the pitchers to hear how they'll pitch to batters. Is that the main input you get on whether to cheat the line or not?
You have to know your pitcher. Knowing your pitcher helps and knowing what his mindset is toward each hitter and then that's how you position yourself. I sit in on pitchers meetings every once in a while. I don't do it as much anymore because I know all the pitchers who are here now. Only when we get a new pitcher that I don't know, will I sit in on the meeting. I try to find out what his best pitches are and what he throws. Then he gets with the coaches to find out how to pitch each batter and I just position myself on that.
(Former Pittsburgh Pirates coach) Bill Virdon helped me the most with my defense. I never had a great arm in the outfield, so we utilized my quickness instead. Some outfielders sit back and use their arm. I was never that type of player, I had to use my speed and quickness and my fast release, so Bill Virdon and I worked on that when I was in Pittsburgh.
From Leslie Ayres: Do you think it's fair to expect sports heroes to be regarded as role models outside the ballpark?
I think everyone needs to be a role model, period. I don't think it should just be an athlete or a movie star. Everyone in society should be a role model, not only for their own self-respect, but for respect from others.
From Adam Sturgeon: Are you going to have any emotions about leaving Candlestick Park?
I don't know yet because we're not at the end of the year. Emotions like that come at the spur of the moment. I don't have time to think about what's going on with the new ballpark at this point in time because we're in a pennant race right now. In all honesty, I'll have a lot of good memories of here, but I look forward to the new ballpark.