Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens should be in Baseball Hall of Fame


What an atrocity.

The undisputed residence run champion, each profession and single-season, and probably the most embellished pitcher within the fashionable period obtained their de facto strolling papers Tuesday from the Baseball Corridor of Fame. And there’s little question who loses probably the most: the Corridor itself, a museum now positioned to inform an inadequate story of the sport’s historical past.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, contemporaries inextricably linked for the improper causes, fell wanting the required 75 p.c election of their tenth and ultimate 12 months on the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America’s poll. They each peaked, Bonds reaching 66 p.c and Clemens 65.2.

The Corridor’s course of permits the duo to get a re-examination by the Right now’s Period committee, which can convene this December then once more in December 2024, and possibly a kind of will present a pleasantly shocking end result. But what we all know in regards to the present Corridor members, who will represent a wholesome chunk of these committees, is that the majority take it personally after they ponder gamers who allegedly used unlawful performance-enhancing medication.

So barring that upset, Bonds and Clemens pays an everlasting worth for not using extra discreet (alleged) suppliers. By no means thoughts that each males, to their credit score (and our leisure), fought the legislation and received, our authorities spending thousands and thousands upon thousands and thousands of {dollars} in futile makes an attempt to deliver them down. Simply one other case of particular person wins being devalued in baseball.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
AP (2)

Sure, it’s awfully onerous for any candidate to accrue 75 p.c. Purple Sox icon David “Massive Papi” Ortiz acquired 77.9 p.c in his first shot to stop a second straight BBWAA shutout, which might have been mighty embarrassing. What bothers me most in regards to the twin snubbing is these two components:

The selective outrage. How is it that Gaylord Perry — who broke a long-established, collectively bargained rule (about throwing a spitball, in fact) and served a penalty for it — shouldn’t be solely immortalized in Cooperstown however revered as some pleasant trickster, whereas Bonds and Clemens, who have been by no means caught and by no means obtained any self-discipline, irreparably jeopardized the sport’s integrity? What about shortly inducted Bud Selig, who whereas proudly owning the Brewers devalued his clients’ tickets by colluding together with his fellow CEOs to not signal free brokers? Whereas Bonds and Clemens honored the ticket holders by doing their greatest, if not in probably the most upstanding method, to win. An absence of area, not materials, prevents me from citing extra examples right here.

The notion of withholding an “honor.” Sure, reaching the Corridor of Fame represents an honor and a monetary boon. However on the danger of sounding crude, these rewards comprise expiration dates. Sooner or later, Bonds and Clemens will die. Whereas the Corridor can preserve going and going, and people honors transition absolutely to mere recognition. So when households go to the Plaque Gallery in, say, 100 years, they’ll rightly battle to know why Bonds and Clemens, in addition to the dynamic slugger Sammy Sosa (additionally unlawful PED suspicions with out proof) and stud pitcher Curt Schilling (everybody’s favourite bigot), obtained such harsh punishments whereas different sinners have been winners.

In response to the information, Clemens tweeted an announcement wherein he insisted, “My household and I put the HOF within the rear view mirror ten years in the past. I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF. I performed to make a generational distinction within the lives of my household.”

If I don’t consider that for a second, I nonetheless salute him for taking the excessive highway, slightly than mentioning how the sport giddily benefited from his greatness — his Yankees supervisor Joe Torre is a longtime Corridor member — then ditched him curbside on the first signal of hassle.

This poll’s gonna go away a mark. It displays poorly on everybody concerned. For many who scream, “What in regards to the youngsters?!” the one lesson to be imparted right here issues museum curation. This museum, considered one of our hottest, options some critical mental inconsistencies. If it’s technically not too late to repair that, it positive feels just like the timer on frequent sense simply buzzed.

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