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Hall of Fame Poll: Roger Clemens

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I'm going to skip voting on the next three on the Hall of Fame Ballot. It is the first year on the ballot for all three.

Next up is  Pat Burrell, who was a very good player, but I'm finding it hard to make a Hall of Fame case for him. He played 12 seasons, mostly with the Phillies, but he had a couple of seasons with the Rays and a couple with the Giants. He had a .253/.361/.472 with 292 homers and 976 RBI. He didn't win any awards, he came in 4th for Rookie of the Year in 2000, he was 14 in MVP voting in 2002 and 7th in 2005. He knew how to take a walk, he had more than 90 walks 4 straight seasons. His peak was pretty good (though not best in league good), if he could have played 3 or 4 more years, he might have a case for the Hall. Baseball Reference has him at 18.8 career WAR.

Orlando Cabrera was another good player. He played 15 seasons and 1985 games. He hit .272/.317/.390 with 123 homers, 854 RBI and 216 stolen bases. He won two Gold Gloves. He received MVP votes once, finishing 15 in 2007. He played for 9 different MLB teams, starting his career as an Expo, playing 8 seasons in Montreal. As much as I'd like to see another Expo in the Hall, Cabrera isn't the guy. When I was first on BBB, Richard Griffin (you think I overvalue former Expos, he wasted a lot of ink urging the Jays sign Orlando and we spent a lot of time saying he wouldn't be a good choice for the team. Baseball Reference has him at 21.4 career WAR

Mike Cameron has the strongest case of the three, but no a Hall of Fame type. He played 17 seasons, hitting .249/.338/.444 in 1955 games. He had 278 games and 968 RBI. He also had 297 stolen bases. He played for 8 different teams, 4 years each for the Mariners and the White Sox and then went on to Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Breweres, Reds and Marlins. He won 3 Gold Gloves, got MVP votes twice, finishing 16th and 21st and he was on one All Star team. Baseball Reference has him at 46.5 career WAR. His defense should get him a few HoF votes.

Rogers Clemens had the stats of a a first ballot Hall of Famer, if you can ignore the fact that he used PEDs and that he is a giant (what's the technical term, oh right) asshat (it is kind of fitting that Bonds and Clemens are back to back in these polls).

In 24 seasons, Clemens had a 354-184 record, 3.12 ERA in 707 starts. 1580 walks, 4672 strikeouts (3rd all-time) in 4916 innings. He won 20 games in 6 different seasons.

He won 7 Cy Youngs, including 2 as a Blue Jay. He won 1 AL MVP award and played in 11 All-Star games. Baseball Reference has him at a 133 WAR which is 3rd all-time for pitchers.

His numbers mark him as a Hall of Fame type, but then he's one of several on the ballot who used PEDs, which, generally, I don't think should be a deal breaker for making the Hall. Clemens, as is his nature, was a particular jerk about it. When he was caught having human growth hormones delivered to his home, he blamed his wife, trying to tell us that it belonged to her. That's incredibly scummy. A man should be protecting his wife, not throwing her under the bus. He also lied to congress about it. but then who hasn't lied to congress.

There really is no end to the examples of his terribleness, including throwing at Mike Piazza, with both a ball and a bat and there was the affair with an under aged, future country singer,  Mindy McCready.

Clemens is a very tough call for me. I don't think PEDs should necessarily be reason for to keep someone out of the Hall. Nor do I think being a lousy human being is reason to be excluded from the Hall. There are many lousy people in the Hall. It doesn't make sense to me to exclude new candidates from the Hall for being lousy.

But it is Roger Clemens.

I would find it very hard to vote to give Roger Clemens any kind of award or honor. I wouldn't vote for him to be dogcatcher,

This is Roger's fifth time on the ballot. He was on 45.2% of the ballots last year. He needs to take some giant steps forward if he is going to get to the 75% needed.