It is kind of fitting that Bonds and Clemens are back-to-back on the Hall of Fame Ballot.
Rogers Clemens is the toughest choice of all for me.
Clemens had the stats of a a first ballot Hall of Famer. But to vote for him you have be ok with the fact that he used PEDs and that he is a giant (what’s the technical term, oh right) asshat.
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 they belonged to her. To me, 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 (or part of 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.
On the other hand, he was a clear Hall of Famer before he started using. He had 3 Cy Young awards and one AL MVP award, before he started using. In 13 seasons, with the Red Sox he had a 192-111 record with a 3.06 ERA in 382 starts. Most of us think that it was after that he started juicing. It seems silly, wrong, dumb that he’s not in the Hall with 354 wins.
This is Roger’s seventh time on the ballot. He was on 57.3% of the ballots last year. He needs to take some giant steps forward if he is going to get to the 75% needed.
I still fight with myself on the idea of him in the Hall. I believe PEDs shouldn’t be something keeps someone out of the Hall, and we’ve got many crappy people in the Hall. BUT.......there is a reason his name is a swear word.
If you want to see Roger’s career numbers, go here.
Similar Players: Actual Clemens is a better run preventing version of Greg Maddux and Tom Seaver. Clemens through 1996 is basically a carbon copy of Pedro Martinez (2827 innings, 66 ERA-, 3 Cy Youngs).
Would you vote Roger Clemens into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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