Will Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens Eventually Make The Hall of Fame?
[lead align=”default”]Just as much focus went on the 2017 Hall of Fame electees yesterday as those who did not get in. This specifically includes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.[/lead]
Sure, people talked about Vlad Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman just barely missing. Their call to Cooperstown will probably come this time in 2018. Yet, when it comes to players like Bonds and Clemens, people will always wonder.
Bonds and Clemens were among the many fingered in the Mitchell Report. To many, Bonds, who bulked from a lean and mean Pittsburgh Pirate to a wide and thick San Francisco Giants, is the face of the steroid era. Clemens, considered by many in his day to be one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, was also implicated.
Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens Inching Closer
On Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced it will induct Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jeff Bagwell. Clemens and Bonds both cleared the 50-percent barrier for the first time, but remain well short of the 75 percent needed for election. By getting to this plateau, some now think it could happen before their time on the ballot expires in five years.
Neither one failed a drug test, but being publicly implicated in the Mitchell Report ten years ago harmed their credibility. At least they’re still on the ballot picking up steam, while Sammy Sosa is all but done and Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro are off the ballot.
To date, no player whose name came up in the Mitchell Report has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Will that change in the coming years, and should it?
Roger Clemens & Barry Bonds: Will The Phone Ring?
A few years ago, it seemed unthinkable that either one of them would clear 50 percent of the vote. With 239 votes, Roger Clemens got 54.1 percent, and at 238, Barry Bonds received 53.8 percent. Both are about 100 votes and change away from going to Cooperstown.
Perhaps attitudes amongst the baseball writers are changing. How else can you explain it when both picked up about 40 votes from last year to this one? Some will argue that these two would have been elite players even without steroids, which, by the way, was never publicly substantiated by a drug test. Nor was Alex Rodriguez busted by a drug test, and he still got a one-year suspension, and did admit to some use.
Because Rodriguez admitted it, his case for Cooperstown years down the road will likely be thin. Bonds and Clemens are different in that both vehemently denied it.
Bagwell and Pudge Rodriguez, new to the halls of the Hall, were both suspected of steroid use at various times. However, they never achieved the poster boy status that Clemens and Bonds did. The latter two will remain polarizing figures, but with the way the momentum is going, there is certainly a good chance they’ll get in the Hall by around 2020 or so. When and if that happens, Major League Baseball will have more or less forgiven the steroid era key players.