Bonds/Clemens and the Baseball Hall of Fame
If the Baseball Hall of Fame is representative of the best players and the history of the game, how can writers not vote for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens? Forget about Pete Rose, he's not on the ballot.
How can you have a Hall of Fame without the players that won the most MVP's (Bonds, 7) and the most Cy Young Awards (Clemens, 7)? The steroid era happened, deal with it. MLB, voters and fans can't cover their eyes and ears and hope the era goes away.
During the steroid era, attendance went up, TV ratings went up, consumption of the game went up went up, and salaries went up. Everyone prospered. In the ultimate in hypocrisy, former ML commissioner Bud Selig is now in the Hall of Fame. But the best players should be kept out?
MLB HAS NOT BANNED Steroid Era players. The statistics of Steroid Era players HAVE NOT been wiped clean from the history books. The records of Steroid Era players STILL STAND. Bonds is still the all-time home run leader. Clemens is still 9th all-time in wins and 3rd all-time in strikeouts. They both appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. How can writers attempt to wipe the era from our memory and from the Hall of Fame?
Since the game was invented, baseball has gone through various eras: Dead Ball, Live Ball, War, Expansion, Integration, Designated Hitter, Free Agency, Wild Card. Don't forget the Sign-Stealing era. To attempt to erase the Steroid Era is disingenuous.
Who are the writers to be judge and jury on who used steroids and who didn't? Many of those same writers were in clubhouses and at the ballpark EVERY DAY of the Steroid Era and they either had no idea what was going on, or chose to ignore it. Nobody even knows when the Steroid Era began. Hell, commissioner Bowie Kuhn was called to congress to discuss the use of steroids in baseball in 1973. Former ML pitcher Tom House says performance enhancing drugs were being used in the 60's and 70's. Nobody wants to talk about widespread use of amphetamines, "greenies", around the game in the 1970's, and likely before. But the writers want to police the game and pick and choose? That's rich.
Voting should not be a writer's guessing game of rumors and innuendo. Did Bonds and Clemens and many others use steroids? I'd say yes. But NEITHER ever tested positive and neither was EVER suspended.
Would I prefer the whole era never happened? Sure. But it did happen, and the writers can't keep the best players in the game, out of Hall of Fame because of it.
Years from now, when I walk into the HOF with my grandkids, it's OK if they see a plaque of Bonds and Clemens. I will explain to them that those players were two of the greatest of all-time, that they played during in an amazing, yet also embarrassing era for baseball and that they were linked to steroid use. What is wrong with that?
Leaving Bonds and Clemens out of the Hall of Fame is attempting to erase history. The writers must be better than that.
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