On Wednesday it was announced that no players would be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Of course, it goes without saying that this notable absence is due to the high level of suspicion surrounding the Steroids Era and this class of tainted players, in particular.
Of a group that also included names like Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell, undoubtedly the two most controversial names among a hugely controversial crop of players are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Both were all-time great players before they were reported to have used PEDs, and both ended up being dragged through the mud in highly publicized perjury trials due to their indiscretions.
On the surface, we know the Cooperstown case for both. Bonds is the home run king, having blasted a single-season best 73 long balls in 2001 and is the all-time leader with 762. During the era he is alleged to have been juicing, Bonds was probably the greatest offensive force in the history of the game, posting a 1.368 OPS during four consecutive MVP seasons between 2001 and 2004.
Clemens, meanwhile, won seven Cy Young awards over his career, striking out 4,672 batters and winning 354 games. On top of that, he’s one of the few pitchers ever to win an MVP award, and won two World Series titles with the Yankees in 1999 and 2000.
But, of course, the issue of steroids is ever-present. Some believe that Clemens and Bonds are simply victims of a wholly tainted era, while others don’t want to see any cheaters in the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, one NESN scribe says Bonds and Clemens should be excluded because they probably lied under oath about their PED use.