The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has its newest member, designated hitter/first basemen David Ortiz. Congratulations to him, it was definitely deserved. As for the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) it has lost its remaining credibility once outfielder Barry Bonds and starting pitcher Roger Clemens were once again not voted in.
Bonds is arguably the greatest hitter Major League Baseball (MLB) has ever seen. The issue for him is that the BBWAA now sees him as the face of the steroid era. Interestingly enough the media at the time had no issues with centering their attention on players who used and were on the Mitchell Report.
It was never an issue. The home run chase first with Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, to Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s record of 756 home runs. The media ate it up. Baseball itself got saved after struggling to get fans back after the 1994 strike.
Home runs saved MLB.
Even the ads at the time were about the home runs. It is hard to forget the tag line of “chicks dig the long ball.” Once again home runs saved MLB and now the greatest home run hitter in history, Bonds cannot even get in the hall of fame. Some will argue that he did not have the best relationship with the media during his playing days. Yet that really does not mean anything. It has never been about the morality of a player when it comes to enshrinement.
All that really matters was Bonds production on the field. In which he finished his career with a .298 batting average, 2,935 hits, 601 doubles, 77 triples, 762 home runs, 1,996 RBI, 2,558 walks, 2,227 runs scored, 514 stolen bases, an OBP of .444, slugging percentage of .607, and an OPS of 1.051.
Bonds won seven Most Valuable Player Awards, eight gold gloves, and the batting title twice while being elected to 14 All-Star games.
As for Clemens. The only reason he is not in was over a less than credible accusation from his former trainer, Brian McNamee.
What the BBWAA continues to ignore is that Clemens got acquitted of all charges when those believed he obstructed and lied to congress about taking PEDS. Which makes the stand to not include Clemens all that more head-scratching.
Clemens finished his career with a record of 354-184 with an ERA of 3.12. He appeared in 709 games which 707 games were starts, he struck out 4,672 batters while walking 1,580, threw 4,916.2 innings with 118 complete games and 46 shutouts, and his WHIP was 1.173.
He won a Most Valuable Player Award, seven Cy Young Awards, seven ERA titles, two World Series rings, and made 11 All-Star teams.
This has never been about Bonds and the performance enhancing drugs (PEDS). It’s about those in the BBWAA who have created fake outrage over what happened during that era and are now apparently the moral authority for MLB.
Yet there are players in the hall of fame that have used amphetamines also known as “greenies.” Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Willie Stargell, Frank Thomas, and Aaron to name a few.
According to Tony Gwynn at one point he “estimated that 50 percent of position players used greenies regularly.” Amphetamines were not banned by MLB until 2005, which was a year after steroid testing got implemented.
If PEDS are the reason to keep a player out even if it were pure speculation then Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, and Ortiz do not get inducted.
Even more interesting is that Derek Jeter is universally loved by the BBWAA and fans.
Still Jeter also nicknamed “The Captain” was the unquestioned leader of the clubhouse that had the most names on the Mitchell Report. Jason Giambi admitted to using and Alex Rodriguez eventually did too. Yet he was supposedly unaware of what was going on. Please!
As for now the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is in a bind. Bonds and Clemens were first ballot hall of fame players and deserve to get enshrined immediately.
So what needs to happen next? Making tough, yet necessary changes and it starts and ends by removing the BBWAA from being able to induct members.