Why I won't vote for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds for the Baseball Hall of Fame
Who should we vote in now that the truly greatest stars of a generation have been implicated for cheating. The two best position players I have ever seen are Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. The best pitcher I've ever seen is Roger Clemens.
I read "Game of Shadows" and followed the Bonds situation closely for a long time. You'd be naive not to be believe his career numbers - not to mention his head literally and figuratively - were not greatly inflated by performance enhancing drugs
Clemens wanted to prove himself innocent of the charges made by his long time trainer that he injected him with performance enhancing drugs. So there was a Federal court case, which like the Bonds' case (he was convicted of one count) was a waste of taxpayer money. Clemens was acquitted of lying to Congress.But I still don't feel Clemens is any different than Bonds on this front. I don't believe either has come clean about it.
A-Rod tested positive before it involved suspension and made it sound like a one-time mistake or something. I don't believe that, either.
Bonds and Clemens are on the Hall of Fame ballot this coming year. I think I'd be remiss in upholding the tradition of the game if I voted for them. I believe that when I was a baseball writer, covering the game on a daily basis for 13 years right in the middle of the steroids era, I was remiss in not pointing out the great fallacy of the game at the time, and not working harder as a reporter to prove it.
It wasn't like people were parading around the clubhouse with needles in the hands, but there was this "wink-wink" mentally from players and front office personal when a player's performance either spiked or dropped suddenly. It was about whether a player started or stopped using PEDs.
It took leaked grand jury testimony and two highly skilled investigative reporters in San Francisco nearly going to jail to crack the performance enhancing drug issue in baseball. They lived up to the tradition of my profession. Sports writers covering baseball at time - myself included - did not.
I feel like I let down the tradition of the game down back then.
And I'm not going to do that again by voting these players into the Hall of Fame, at least initially. I'll try to keep an open mind. Issues are fluid. It's foolish, I feel, to draw a line in the sand and never move off a stance, if evidence changes. I'd be interested to hear what baseball fans think about this. Ultimately, it's your game. There is a comment box below.