December 31, 2021

I Investigated Bonds and Clemens. Yes, They Belong in Cooperstown: Friday is the last day for voters in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to submit their 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballots. Listed on those ballots are two players in their 10th and final year of Hall of Fame eligibility who truly dominated their era but haven’t been voted in: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. (archive link)

posted by rumple to baseball at 02:50 PM - 4 comments

No. No they don't. If you commit a crime, and the prosecutor decides not to prosecute and/or allows others to commit the same crime without repercussions doesn't mean you didn't commit a crime. The "everyone else was doing it" argument doesn't make it ok to do it. If you are a "true" hall of famer then it doesn't matter everyone else was doing it. The "look at the past transgressions" of some who are in, like Ty Cobb, doesn't matter either. Cobb didn't cheat the game. He may have been a "bad" dude, but he didn't cheat the game. Memorabilia from Bonds and Clemens are in the Hall. That's good enough. I have a bigger issue with Rose not being in (and he broke one of the cardinal rules). My problem with the Rose issue is that he committed those transgressions after his playing days (when he was a manager), and no one has ever accused him of doing any gambling on baseball when he was a player. I get that he is banned from baseball and therefore, not eligible. But, if he had gone into a different job after baseball he would be in the Hall right now. It doesn't matter what Bonds, Clemens, or McGwire did after baseball, what they did happened while they were players and had a direct impact on the criteria for which they are judged.

posted by jagsnumberone at 03:05 PM on December 31, 2021

You know, if they hadn't been such massive douchebags personally, they probably would have been voted in already. Like it or not, personality goes a long way, and the baseball writers who vote on the HOF can be a vindictive bunch with long memories.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:04 PM on December 31, 2021

They were so great that they became two of the players best known for using PEDs. If this keeps them out of the hall that seems like a fitting outcome to me. It's a Fall of Icarus. In the PED era they were the ones who rose closest to the sun.

Bonds was great, though. He may be the best player I ever saw in person. I was in San Francisco for one day and went to see him play at Candlestick. I had a perfect angle on the third base side to see him hit a Roy Hobbs-like shot that rose and never stopped rising. It may have left orbit.

posted by rcade at 02:25 PM on January 01, 2022

rcade, to me, that's the most confounding part of it. Guy was a legit 5-tool player when he came up, and very likely would be in the HoF today just based on natural talent.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:26 PM on January 04, 2022

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