1. Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens is a Hall of Famer and you know it.
This is a different conversation entirely, but to me, it has the same conclusion: Roger Clemens does not deserve to languish at 50% on the ballot, and he deserves a more nuanced examination.
Though I may be in the minority (the tide is turning, however…), I see no discernible reason not to honor and examine an entire era of Major League Baseball simply because some find it unsavory. This isn’t the Confederacy. The vast majority of the league enjoyed the same advantage Clemens did, and many who abused the same chemicals as the Rocket are already inside Cooperstown’s walls (uh oh!). In the 1960s, there were greenies. In the 1920s, there were no African American players competing. Is that a more “even playing field” than the steroid-addled ’90s?
Clemens is the third-greatest starting pitcher of all time, according to JAWS. He competed against athletes who were doing ungodly things to tweak their bodies, and he came out on top repeatedly.
354 wins. Seven Cy Youngs. 4,672 strikeouts. I’d let him in. I’d let Bonds in. I’d let anyone in who was never suspended by Major League Baseball (sorry, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez).
If David Ortiz (found guilty via MLB’s survey testing in 2003, the same test that popped A-Rod!) skates into the Hall and Clemens never gets his just due, you will be hearing from my lawyer.
And if Curt Schilling doesn’t get held out by the character clause, then you can no longer justify Clemens’ de facto ban in any way.