Will they? Should they?
Are 354 wins, 4,672 strike outs and two World Series titles enough to get in the Baseball Hall of Fame? The answer is: YES….as long as you didn’t use steroids….or…..I mean as long as you didn’t get caught using steroids….or…. I mean as long as people don’t believe you used steroids.
The questions, the accusations, and the suspicions go on for Roger Clemens. Clemens was found not guilty on various charges relating to his suspected lying to Congress about never having taken performance-enhancing drugs. In the court of public opinion, however, the trial continues.
Most baseball fans have probably already made up their minds about whether they believe Clemens’ claims about never using steroids.
There’s no denying that Clemens has the numbers to get into the Hall of Fame. Before all of the accusations, before the trial, and before the appearance before Congress, there was no doubt that Clemens would be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Now, things are different. Not only will Clemens not be voted in next year (his first year of eligibility), but I wouldn’t be surprised if several years pass before he gets the necessary amount of votes (75% of the ballots). It all comes down to one question: Does Clemens still deserve to be voted into the Hall of Fame despite the allegations of steroid use?
Why stop at Clemens? Should Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Bagwell, ARod or any of the other athletes who have been mentioned, accused or have admitted to using steroids get in either? I’m sure there are many players who used performance-enhancing during their career and just never got caught because they had good drug dealers.
The sports writers, who vote on the inductees, have already turned down McGwire and Bagwell so far, so it doesn’t look good for Clemens or Bonds.
As a baseball fan, I go back and forth on how I feel about this. My first reaction was to say anyone who cheated should not be voted in. If Pete Rose is still not allowed in for gambling on baseball (which is ridiculous by the way), then players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs shouldn’t be either.
However, another part of me thinks that there were so many other players taking performance enhancing drugs that didn’t put up the same kinds of numbers as Clemens and Bonds…..so in some way, with or without the drugs, both would still have been Hall of Famers. Maybe they should just exclude anyone who played from the early 1990’s to 2000’s?
I believe if you are going to take into account alleged steroid use during these last two decades, the question that the voters must ask is: Would this player have made the Hall of Fame based on their numbers before they were accused of taking steroids? In the case of McGwire, Sosa and Bagwell, probably not.
Clemens, however, had great numbers and was almost certain to be a Hall of Famer well before his suspected use of steroids. The same can be said of Barry Bonds. I think both should be voted into the Hall of Fame. Many of the writers have said they will vote for both and some say they will never vote either of them. I guess we’ll wait and see what happens next year.
I think it’s ridiculous that the federal government is getting involved and has wasted taxpayer money on these pointless and lengthy trials. I say… let’s move on, clean up the sport, keep trying to repair baseball’s image and let Clemens, Bonds and Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame.