Why MLB is the Absolute Worst: Put Bonds and Clemens In Hall of Fame
Seeing that it is 2022, one would think Barry Lamar Bonds and William Roger Clemens would be in the Baseball Hall of Fame…right? To begin, MLB is a sport that is, overall, very archaic and rigid.
Undeniably, it chooses to live in the past in lieu of forward-thinking. To put it another way, MLB refuses to blame themselves for the steroid era and is unjustly punishing Bonds and Clemens.
Furthermore, the mere fact these two players are not in Cooperstown shows that those who vote are living in 2002, not 2022. No one is condoning the usage of steroids in any sport but, at some point, enough is enough.
Before I go down a rabbit hole deeper than the one Alice did to Wonderland, let me elucidate on the careers of Bonds and Clemens.
Bonds spent the first seven years of his MLB career (1986 – 1992) with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a two-time National League MVP (1990 and 1992) and led NL in on-base percentage (OBP) in 1991 and 1992. In his time with the Pirates, Bonds finished with an overall OBP of .380, which was third behind 1st basemen Jack Clark (.401) and Fred McGriff (.391).
Moreover, he was no slouch on the basepaths as he finished with 251 stolen bases, the most in MLB during his time in Pittsburgh. By and large, Bonds was one of the best players in the game at this point and took his talents to the Bay Area in 1993.
In his first year with the San Francisco Giants, he led all of MLB with 43 home runs, a .667 slugging percentage, and 365 total bases. Bonds also had 43 intentional bases on balls (IBB), which led the league that year. He won another NL MVP award after winning one the previous year.
As you can see, Bonds is pretty good at baseball. So, let’s fast forward to where the now 36-year-old is in his 16th year. The slugger won the first of four straight NL MVP awards with the Giants (2001-2004), hitting 73 home runs in 2001. Between 2001 and 2004, he led MLB in the following categories:
- Home Runs (209)
- IBB (284)
- Batting average (.349)
- OBP (.549)
- Slugging percentage (.809)
- Bases on Balls (755)
No pitcher in the sport wanted to face Bonds because he was the most dangerous bat in those four years. The 284 IBB was 192 more than the second player on the list in that time: outfielder Vladimir Guerrero (92).
All in all, Bonds ended his 22-year MLB career as the all-time leader with 762 home runs, 668 IBB, and 2,558 bases on balls.
His offensive WAR (wins above replacement) of 162.7 is fourth on the all-time list:
Lastly, let’s take a look at the career of Roger Clemens
Clemens played for four MLB teams in his 22-year career, including the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. He led the league in strikeout five times, including three straight years (1996-1998), and seven Cy Young awards.
The seven Cy Young awards are the most in MLB history. In 12 of his 22 years, he had at least 200 strikeouts and led in ERA seven times.
His 173 strikeouts in the postseason are the fifth-most all-time and his 4,672 strikeouts are third in MLB. Only Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875) have more.
Equally important: he is third in WAR when it comes to pitchers with a 138.7:
MLB, Do the Right Thing
Although their 10-year eligibility is up on the ballot, the Era Committee can still put Bonds and Clemens into the Hall of Fame. Unquestionably, the absence of your sport’s all-time home leader and leader in Cy Young awards is a major gap. By the same token, it is time to let bygones be bygones and live in the present. Do the right thing MLB and write this wrong.